Doyle, Demon Watcher
Flatlander (Danielle Ducrest)


Disclaimers: Angel: the Series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to
Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, Mutant Enemy, Greenwolf Corp, Kuzui
Enterprises, Sandollar Television, Fox, and the WB. Highlander: the
Series belongs to Rysher Entertainment, Davis/Panzer Productions, and
Gaumont Television. No copyright infringement was intended. This story
was written for entertainment, and no money was exchanged. 

Spoilers and Timing: In the Angel Universe, it takes place after "Rm
w/a Vu". In the Highlander Universe, it takes place after Highlander:
The Series' ending. There are spoilers for "Money no Object". 

_______________________________________________________________________


PROLOGUE

Summer of 1996


Everything he saw was foggy. Images flashed before his eyes. He
couldn't focus on anything in the Vision for very long. Objects focused
only briefly in front of him, then left. Everything else was a blur. 

Several things appeared in a sequence. There was a woman with bleached
hair. Every other feature wasn't visible. He watched as she entered an
alley and looked around. Then she reached into her white trenchcoat,
pulled out a broadsword, and held it in a defensive position. 

Next, the Vision centered on a man hiding in the shadows of the alley.
The man took out a cell phone, revealing an unusual blue tattoo on his
left wrist. 

The image changed to a bar he recognized called Harry's Bar and Grill.
The woman with bleached hair entered and walked over to one of the
tables. 

The Vision ended, and Doyle found himself staring at his apartment's
carpeted floor, where he'd spilled part of his cup of coffee. The rest,
unfortunately, was soaking through his pants in the worst place
possible. 

Doyle ran toward the bathroom, wondering what the Powers That Be wanted
with him this time, and why they just loved to give him Visions while
he held a very hot beverage. 



Amanda opened her eyes. The Buzz of another Immortal echoed in her ears
and mind. 

She jumped out of bed and pulled out her Broadsword. She couldn't see
anyone in the darkened apartment, but didn't expect anyone to be in
there. She had a good feeling she knew who the other Immortal was. 

She crept to the window, pulled down one of the blinds, flattened
herself against the wall and looked out. She could see no one in the
alley or in the parking lot across the street, but that didn抰 mean a
thing. 

For three weeks, she'd been followed by another Immortal. The Immortal
kept to the shadows, never revealing himself or herself to Amanda. He
or she would step into range everywhere; at the movies, at restaurants,
at stores, and in her apartment. 

The mysterious Immortal was beginning to get on her nerves. She just
wished he or she would reveal himself or herself so they could fight
and get it over with. She hated having to look over her shoulder, not
knowing who she was facing. It was driving her insane with curiosity
and fear. 

She'd tried running. She'd gone from Paris, to New York, and now L. A.
She had tried making it hard to trace her. But he still found her. She
was sure it was the same person, too. 

The Immortal was still nearby. She still felt the Buzz. That was odd.
So far, the Immortal had stayed in range for only a few seconds before
stepping out of it again. 

The phone rang. With one more glance out the window, Amanda went to
answer it. 

"Hello?" she asked. 

"Harry's Bar and Grill. Now." 

He hung up the phone. Amanda hadn't enough time to identify the
speaker, but she was sure the voice was familiar. 

She put on her coat, slid her sword into its hidden sheath, and took
off. 



PART ONE

Allen Francis Doyle was a man with blue eyes and dark hair, and had
that innocent look to him. If they'd known he was a half-demon, they
wouldn't have thought so, but he'd told no one except his mother.
Because of his demonic heritage, he could transform at will into this
demon with blue spikes all over, and he had visions, like the one
earlier. 

Doyle stepped into Harry's Bar and Grill and glanced around at the
patrons. He couldn't see the bleach-haired woman or the man with the
tattoo, so he walked over to the bar and sat down. 

The bartender came over to him and smiled. "Hey, Doyle. How's it
going?" 

Doyle smiled at him. "Just fine, John," he said in his thick Irish
accent. 

"What'll it be tonight?" 

"Just a beer, thanks." 

John fixed him the drink. The door opened again, and more customers
came in. None of them were the people from his vision, so Doyle didn't
pay much attention. John left to wait on them. 

Doyle lifted the glass and drained half of it in one gulp. He cradled
his drink afterwards, staring at the tv, not really absorbing what was
happening in the current program. 

He glanced around again. It was around eleven, but the place was filled
to the brim. On the other side of the building, he saw friends eating
at the grill, while over here, truckers and regulars talked and drank. 

He didn抰 give it much thought, however. He was really thinking about
the vision he'd had less than an hour ago. What could it mean? The
woman he saw couldn't have stopped in the alley just to practice, and
the reason why she carried a sword around couldn't be because she
needed an easier way to carry it to an antiques store. The man he saw
couldn't have been calling home to his wife, either. 

As for the symbol, he'd never seen it before, but he intended to find
out what it meant. If he didn't get his answers soon, he was going to
start asking for information from his contacts. 

The door opened again. His back was to it, so he didn't know who
entered, but all the men in the room started cat calling. 

"Hey, little lady, how about you come sit with me?" one of the patrons
called. 

"Sorry, boys, but I'm here to meet someone," a woman answered.

"Hope it's me you're going to meet." 

"No," the woman said. Doyle heard her take several steps toward the
patron. "But I may just dump him." 

Everyone whistled, and another patron called, "Go, Bill!" 

"I'll be right here, baby," the patron said as the woman began to walk
away. 

She walked up to the bar and sat on one of the stools. John asked her
what she wanted, and she answered, "Wine." 

Doyle turned and saw her, and recognized her as the woman from his
Vision. 

John served the drink and walked away. The woman glanced around her
cautiously, and Doyle turned away at the last minute. 

The door opened again. Both he and the woman turned and looked at it. A
man, dressed casually in jeans and a jacket, entered. He glanced around
the bar, just as Doyle had done. His eyes rested on Amanda for a few
seconds before moving to a just emptied booth. He was the man from
Doyle's vision, the one with the tattoo. 

Doyle glanced at the woman. Her eyes narrowed at the man, suspicious,
but she didn't move. Doyle wondered if she recognized the newcomer. 

She turned back to her drink, but glanced back at the man every few
seconds. After this had gone on for some time, Doyle decided it was
time to introduce himself. 

He slid onto the next stool, the only one separating him from the
woman. She looked up at him and narrowed her eyes again. 

Doyle pretended he didn't notice. "Hi," he greeted. He smiled, tried to
seem as friendly as possible. "My name's Doyle." He held out his hand. 

The woman gazed at him for a minute longer before taking his hand and
shaking it. "Amanda." 

"Are you waiting for someone?" Doyle asked. "Or did you lie to that
creep to make him buzz off?" 

Amanda smiled. "Actually, I am waiting for someone." 

"Are you meeting him to have dinner?" 

Amanda narrowed her eyes. "I never said it was a he." 

Doyle shrugged, trying not to give anything away. "Just, it seems to me
that a lady like yourself wouldn't have any trouble finding a
boyfriend." 

"I have a boyfriend," she answered. "But I'm not meeting him tonight." 

"So," Doyle continued. "Does the person you're meeting like seeing you
dressed in a coat, even with such a light breeze out tonight?" 

Amanda shrugged. "It's our way." 

Amanda glanced around. Her eyes seemed to roam everywhere, even to the
wall behind the bar. Finally, they rested on a man outside the
building, peering at them through the glass. 

"Is that him?" Doyle asked as she got up and put a few bills on the
counter. 

Amanda nodded. "I have to go." 

The man outside began walking away. Amanda followed. 

The man from his Vision got up and left some cash on the table and
followed them out. 

Doyle watched them go. When the second man was about to disappear from
view, he stood up. 

"Sorry, John," he said as he, too, left a few bills on the counter.
"But I've got to go." 

"Okay, Doyle. See you later." John called after him. 

Doyle left the restaurant in time to see the second man turn left down
an alley. He followed. 

The alley was lit brightly by a streetlight attached to the bar and
grill. He could see Amanda pause further into the alley and glance
around. The man from the window had disappeared, but the man from his
vision was hiding behind a row of trashcans. Doyle chose a dumpster
closer to the end of the alley, out of sight of both of them, and
waited. 

Amanda pulled out a sword and held it defensively in front of her. She
looked around at the shadows. Suddenly, the man from the window
appeared, also holding a sword. The two circled each other, both
watching their opponent carefully, cautiously. 

The man crouched behind the trashcans took out a cell phone, pressed a
button, and held it to his ear, mimicking what Doyle had seen in his
apartment.  

A few minutes later, the man put his cell up. Doyle turned his
attention back to the fight. 

He watched, amazed, as the two fought. These two were pros with swords.


The fight lasted for several minutes. It was too dark to check his
watch, but he knew it took a long time. Finally, the woman disarmed her
opponent and forced him to his knees. 

Then, to Doyle's disgust, she caught his head off. 

Well, he thought. At least I know what the swords are for now. 

For a long minute, the woman stared down at the body, breathing
heavily. Doyle watched it, too, half expecting it to explode into dust.
But he didn't get what he'd hoped for. The body stayed the way it was. 

Then, something he hadn't expected at all happened. It didn抰 shock him
as much as it would a few years ago, before he knew about demons and
prophecies and witches and vampires. It just surprised and amazed him. 

A white mist wandered out of the headless body lying on the ground. It
wandered over to Amanda and entered her chest. She gasped, but did or
said nothing. Then she was struck repeatedly by blue and white
lightening bolts from a cloudless sky.  Her arms, one still holding
onto her sword, were forced open by a sudden wind. Amanda looked up to
the heavens and gasped again. She cried out as one large bolt struck
her and made her body jump. 

A few minutes later, the light show was over. Amanda picked up her
opponent's sword and put both in her coat. Then she took off down the
other end of the alley, disappearing down the other street. 

The man hiding behind the trashcans got up to follow. He glanced in
Doyle's direction. Doyle, still gazing where the Quickening had taken
place, was slow to react and knew the man spotted him. Doyle hurried
back in his hiding place and hoped the man hadn't gotten a good glimpse
at him. His Irish luck, it seemed, wasn't going in his favor that
night. 

"Hey!" the man called. Doyle heard the man's footsteps getting closer.
He got in a defensive position and braced himself for an attack. 

The man appeared around the dumpster. Seeing the position Doyle was in,
he stopped a few feet away. "Look, I don't want to hurt you," the man
said. 

Doyle gazed at the man, and knew this may be his ticket to getting the
information he wanted. 

"Then why were you spying on those two people?" Doyle asked. "And why
did she cut his head off? What was the deal with the light show?" 

The man sighed. He motioned toward the bar. "Come on. I'll explain it
all to you, if you'd like."

Doyle gazed at him, looking for any indication that this was a trick.
He didn't see one, but that didn't necessarily mean a thing. But it was
unlikely that the guy would pull something in a crowded bar. Doyle
nodded. "All right." 

They went back to Harry's Bar and Grill, and the man introduced himself
as Carl Case. He explained everything involving the Game, the Prize,
Immortals, and the Buzz. Then he told Doyle about the Watchers. 

Doyle had heard about a Council of Watchers. They had the Slayer, one
girl chosen in the entire world to fight the forces of darkness. But
this was different. Carl told him about the Society of Watchers, and
their sworn oath to observe and record, but never interfere. 

Doyle took it all in without comment. It didn't amaze him as much as it
would someone without knowledge of the supernatural. Immortals weren't
the only immortal race he knew about. 

They talked some more, and Carl asked what he was like. What did he do
for a living? 

"I'm employed," Doyle had answered carefully. If the Powers That Be
could be called office managers. "But I work very odd hours." 

Carl asked him more about himself. Did he like to travel, did he like
doing research, that sort of thing. Doyle answered him every way
possible without giving away too much information, such as Visions or
what had really happened to him in the past year since he found out
about his demonic heritage. "I've been traveling around a lot in the
past year," Doyle answered. "Started out in Ireland, then I moved to
the states and moved from place to place, getting temporary jobs, that
sort of thing. Been thinking about settling down in L.A." 

They talked some more. 

"Would you like to join?" 

Doyle started. "Excuse me?"

"I know this may be all a bit to take in," Carl said, "but I've been
watching you today and after all you've told me, I think you'd make an
excellent Watcher. Please," he took out his wallet and handed Doyle a
card. "Think about it. Call me when you've made a decision, or you can
reach me at my bookstore across town." 

Doyle looked at the card, then back up at the man. He nodded. "I'll
think about it," he said. 

Carl smiled. "I'll be waiting for your answer then," he got up. "I hope
to see you again soon." 

Doyle waited until the man was gone, then got up and headed toward his
apartment. 



PART TWO

1999

Doyle watched as the battle raged on in the empty train station. The
Immortal he was assigned to won the fight, and he watched while the
Quickening took place. The Immortal's name was Gary Sparrow, and spent
half of his time at a church located in L. A., helping the priest. This
was one of the rare times he'd actually fought an Immortal. 

In the past two years, Doyle had been Gary's watcher. One good thing
about his assignment was that Gary didn't want to leave L.A., and after
Doyle had met Angel and Cordelia via mind-numbing visions and started
helping them out, he was happy for the inactivity. 

A lot had happened in the last few years. Even when he'd gone to the
Watcher Academy in Geneva for a year, the Powers hadn't stopped sending
the visions. He'd had a hard time explaining what his headaches were to
his classmates during that time. The pain he experienced when he got
his visions was similar to the pain a new Immortal might feel when he
felt the Buzz, even though his reactions to them might seem a little
extreme for an Immortal. Doyle wouldn't be surprised if the Watchers
were keeping him under surveillance, although they might be a little
shocked to discover he spent most of his free time fighting the forces
of darkness with a two hundred year old vampire and an ex-May Queen.
They would be just as shocked if they ever saw him transform into a
blue-spike Brachen Demon, too. Doyle hoped they never found out about
his heritage. 

He followed Gary in a cab to the church. After Doyle saw the Immortal
disappear inside, he told the driver to turn around and head to Angel's
place. 

When the driver backed up in the church's lot to do just that, Doyle's
cell phone rang. He picked it up. "Hello, Doyle." 

"Doyle, just what the h*** are you doing?" Carl Case's voice asked. 

Doyle was puzzled. "What are you talking about, Carl?" 

"There's been rumors," Carl began. "They've been doing research into
your friend, Angel. They say he's an Immortal." 

"That's impossible, Carl." 

"Is that so? Well, you'd better tell that to the Tribunal, cause
they're thinking about kicking you out, or doing what they almost did
to Dawson a few years back." 

Doyle cursed. "It won't come to that." 

"I hope not, my friend," Carl said. 

Doyle sighed. "Look, I've gotta go, all right? Sparrow just won a
fight. I've got to report it before morning, or even more people will
be angry with me. I'll call you back later." 

There was a pause, and Carl sighed. "All right. Just watch your back,
Doyle." 

"Always." 

He hung up, worried. If the watchers found out what Angel really was卙e
just hoped it would never come to that. 



Cordelia sat in the back office at the computer. Because no one needed
help at the moment and they didn't have to research the latest mystical
L.A. thing, she'd gone on the Internet and done some surfing. She had
found several people with a fashion sense almost as good as hers, and
was busy e-mailing them tips. They didn't need to know she couldn't
afford anything she advised them to wear. 

Angel sat on the couch, reading one of his old musty books. He always
seemed to be reading something, like he couldn't get enough when they
had to research the latest demon in L. A. 

Cordelia saw an ad on the computer. "Ooh! Look at this! This says it
can tell you how many times you've taken a breath in your lifetime!
Let's see5221981. There!" Cordelia pressed enter. "Woah. That's a
lot. Actually, I bet I've breathed a lot more, 'cause of all those
heavy fights I've gotten in the past, not to mention the dry-cleaning
bills I've had to pay for because of them. Angel, want to know how many
times you've breathed in the last few centuries? How long has it been?
Two hundred and forty-three, right? Or am I off?"

Angel glanced at her from his book, finally acknowledging her presence
for the first time in the hour and a half she'd been at work.
"Cordelia" 

"Oh, yeah. You're a vampire. Vampires don't breathe. Perhaps I could
check out how many times you breathed while you were mortal?" 

The front door opened, and Cordelia left the computer to see who it
was. She missed Angel's relieved expression when he put his book down. 

Cordelia hoped Doyle was there. She was disappointed, but only
slightly. 

Instead of the blue-eyed Irishman, there was a man with graying hair.
He held a cane and walked differently, like his knees were as stiff as
wood. It wasn't Doyle. But this man may need help, which would make him
a client. That was always a good thing, especially if this client paid
money. 

"Hi," Cordelia greeted him. "Welcome to Angel Investigations, where we
help the hopeless. I'm Cordelia." 

The man smiled. "Joe Dawson," he greeted. He looked past her. "I'm
looking for Francis Doyle. Is he around?" 

Suspicious, Cordelia answered, "He's not here, yet. But Angel is. He's
the boss and he can help you with whatever problem you have. There is a
fee, of course," she said, leading him into the vampire's office. Angel
was waiting. 

"Hi," Joe greeted. "I take it you're Angel?" 

Angel nodded. He motioned to the chair in front of his desk. "Please,
sit down." Joe did as he asked. "Would you like some coffee?" 

Joe waved the offered beverage away. "No, thanks." 

"So, you know Doyle." Angel prodded. 

"Yeah, we're old friends. He told me he worked as a Private
Investigator now. Guess I just had to see it for myself." 

"Did you know him when he was a school teacher?" Cordelia asked, still
curious as to Doyle's old life. 

Joe shook his head. "I'm afraid not. We met about a year or two ago up
in Seacouver." 

The front door opened again. A few minutes later, Doyle appeared at the
office door. The first one he noticed was Cordelia. "Hey, Cordy."  

He looked at Dawson, and the older man looked back. Doyle's face broke
out into a smile. "Joe!" 



When Doyle entered the building used as Angel's apartment and their
office building, he was surprised to find his old friend sitting in the
guest chair. He smiled. "Joe! How are you?"

Joe managed a half-smile in return. "Hey, Doyle. Long time no see," he
started getting up. 

"No, that's alright," Doyle said, waving him back down. "Man, you
coming here is cause for celebration! I'm ready for a drink." 

"You always want to celebrate with a drink," Cordelia complained for
the thousandth time. 

"So," Angel asked. "How do you know each other?"

"Oh, I happened to wander into Joe's Bar up in Washington state one
day. It's really the same old story. He was the bartender, I drank a
few things, we got to talking." 

Joe shook his head, smiling. "You still owe me the money from that tab,
you know." 

"Yeah right. You won it from me from all those times we played poker
together." 

Joe smiled, but the light in his eyes was sad. 

Doyle saw his friend's change in mood. "Joe? What's wrong? What
happened?" 

Joe glanced at him, then over at Cordelia and Angel. Doyle got the
message. "Cordy, Angel, could you give us some time alone, please?" 

Doyle could tell Cordelia and Angel wanted to stay and hear more about
his past, but both got up anyway. "Sure," Cordelia said, walking to the
outer office. 

Angel glanced at Doyle, then went to the elevator shaft and descended
to his basement apartment. 

Doyle waited until the door had closed behind Cordelia before he asked,
"What happened, Joe?" 

Joe sighed. "Remember Jake Dearstrom?" 

Doyle nodded. 

"He's dead." 

Doyle stared at Joe. "You're joking." 

"No, I'm not." 

"But," Doyle began. He sat down behind the desk. "He-he was the best!
None of the Immortals he was assigned to ever found out about him-not
as a passerby or patron in a bar or anything. Even the watchers of the
Immortals his Immortals came in contact with couldn't spot him!" 

"I know," Joe said, distressed. 

Doyle had met Jake during Joe's poker games. He'd been a nice guy, had
even shown Doyle a few tricks to being the best Watcher in town. "How'd
it happen?" 

"He was attacked from behind," Joe answered, then shrugged. "At least,
that's what the police say. He also lost quite a lot of blood.
Investigators found two puncture holes in his neck. It happened on the
other end of L. A." 

Doyle stared at his friend. "Sounds like someone's copying off of a
vampire." 

Joe nodded. "He's not the only one." 

"Joe, who else?" 

"At least three more, all in the states. In the L.A. area." 

Doyle asked, "All watchers?"

Joe nodded. "All watchers. The police say there's a vampire cult around
here. Wackos believe they're actual vampires." 

"Sounds like a lot of talk." Inwardly, Doyle was more worried than he
let on. He ran through all the vampire gangs he knew of that were
currently in the big city. He couldn't think of any reason why any of
them would go after a group of people that had nothing to do with them,
except of course for food. 

He should let Angel know about this. If there was a new gang of
vampires out there, he was the one who should know about it.

"Yeah," Joe agreed. "Look, I was wondering if you could help us out?
I've heard you help out here, solve cases."

"A few." Doyle said. "I'll help. But my friends have to know at least
part of it if this is going to work." 

Joe nodded. "Okay." 

Doyle got up and went to tje door and opened it. Cordelia looked up at
him expectantly from her seat behind her desk. "Could you get Angel and
meet us in here?" 

"Sure," Cordy said. "But if he's sleeping, don't expect me to wake him
up. I will not be his midnight snack, thank you very much." She went to
the stairwell and started down it.  

Doyle closed the door and turned back to Joe. Joe, puzzled, asked, "His
midnight snack?" 

Doyle shrugged, trying not to look worried. "It's just an inside joke."




PART THREE

A few minutes later, Angel, Cordelia, Doyle, and Joe were gathered in
the office. Joe retold his story, minus the Watcher part. He just said
the murdered men were friends of his, which was true. 

Angel took the seat Doyle had used earlier and asked most of the
questions. Joe watched Angel most of the time. He could understand why
some members of the Watcher Society believed this man was Immortal. His
eyes spoke of so much emotion and suffering commonly seen in Immortals.
But there was also a primitive hunger there kept at the edge of its
lease, something he hadn't seen even in the times Joe had looked into
Methos' eyes and seen Death. He felt Angel was something else entirely.
He seemed like the kind of monster that would kill four watchers and
drain them of their blood. But Joe wasn't sure about that. There was
something else in those pair of brown eyes, something that said he'd do
everything in his power to see Joe's and Doyle's friends brought to
justice. 

After Angel had finished questioning him, Doyle showed Joe to the door.
"We'll find who did this to them, Joe," Doyle promised. 

"I hope so, Doyle," was all Joe said.

Joe left the Angel Investigations building and hailed a cab, and
directed the driver to his hotel. A few doors down was a fancier hotel.
It would have cost too much if Joe wanted the Watchers to pay for the
complete expenses of his trip, and he wanted to keep a low profile. 

When they arrived, Joe paid the driver and got out. Just as his cab
pulled away, another cab pulled up in front of the fancier hotel.
Amanda stepped out. 

"Hey! Amanda!" Joe called, knowing it was safe. Carl Case, her Watcher,
was still in Paris. He started walking toward her. 

Amanda looked up at his voice and smiled. She walked up to him. "Hey,
Joe," she greeted. "What brings you to L.A.?" 

"Watcher business," Joe answered. "What about you?" 

"Immortal business," she answered. 

"Who is it?" 

"An old enemy. Nathan Prescott." Amanda replied. 

Joe whistled. "I've heard he's good." 

"He is," Amanda agreed, but she wasn't giving Prescott a compliment.
"But he won't be good enough." She gestured to the hotel. "Want to join
me at the hotel's restaurant? I hear they serve very good pasta."

Joe shook his head. "Thanks, but I'd better get some sleep. I've got a
little bit of jet lag." 

"Tomorrow, then," Amanda said. She walked toward the doors of her
hotel. "See you later, Joe." 

"Watch your head."

"I will." 



Nathan Prescott walked into the vampire leader's lair, quite happy.
Everything was going according to plan. "Good morning, Spike," he
greeted his vampire ally. 

Spike, also know as William the Bloody, glared at him. "You promised me
Angel, Prescott," he reminded the Immortal in his Australian accent.
"But all I get are scared, puny humans." 

Nathan sighed. Spike's anger deepened, and inwardly, Nathan laughed at
the sight. "Spike, how many times do I have to tell you? These Watchers
that you've been killing are leading us straight to Angel." 

"And just how is that? No, wait, I know. We let his sidekick know about
the murders so he'd go running and screaming to Angel and beg for help,
and brood boy will do everything in his power to see things right." 

"Be happy, Spike. You get what you want, I get what I want."

"I'll be happy once you get all of the Watchers out of my hair, mate,"
Spike said, saying the last word with anything but cheerfulness.

Prescott smiled. Spike had no idea that his vampires had attacked four
members of the Society of Watchers and not the Watcher Council. If he
did know, he couldn't harm Prescott in any way. "Relax. Doyle and
Dawson will be taken care of." 

Spike smiled. "Sounds great, mate." 



PART FOUR

"How do you and Dawson know each other?" Angel asked. 

"We met a few years ago," Doyle said. "He helped me settle in." 

"Settle into what?" Cordelia asked. 

Doyle hated lying to his friends, but he couldn't tell them he was a
Watcher. They may not understand. How could he tell them he watched
Immortals kill each other, and he did nothing to stop it? He was just
happy he wasn't assigned to a guy who hunts for sport. "L. A." 

"Do you have any enemies?" Angel asked. 

Doyle started shaking his head but stopped when he remembered something
Joe and Carl told him once. "There was a guy, but he's dead." 

"What's his name?" 

"James Horton. He was crazy and believed anything that wasn't mortal
was a fiend." He was also a Watcher who hunted Immortals down, good or
bad, and took their heads. Oh, and he's Joe's brother-in-law. "He died
three or four years ago, but he had a lot of followers." 

"So Joe knows about vampires and stuff?" Cordelia asked. 

Doyle shook his head. "He doesn't. Like I said, he was crazy. He
believed in a lot of things that weren't true." 

Angel nodded slowly, as if all the pieces were coming together in that
two hundred year old mind of his. "Cordelia, I want you to look up any
newspapers mentioning the murders and anything about this Horton guy." 

"Got it," Cordelia said, walking to the computer.   

"I'll ask Kate if she knows anything," Angel said. 

"Are you sure she'll tell you anything?" Doyle asked. Kate Lockley, an
L. A. detective, had met Angel while undercover. She knew he was an
investigator, even though he didn't have a license, but she wasn't
about to share every police file the police force had. 

Angel ignored the question. "After that, I'm going to ask around, see
if anyone has been biting people matching your friends' descriptions or
has a grudge against either of you. Doyle, why don't you do the same,
maybe check on your friend when you're done?" 

Doyle nodded. "Okay." 



One of Angel's stops was not to see a vampire, but a human. Like Willy
the Snitch in Sunnydale, this man owned a bar. But unlike Willy, he
didn't know that his customers were often vampires or other demons.

His name was Jinx, and he was pretty friendly. Ever since he'd seen
Angel come in with Kate and she'd introduced herself as a police
detective, he'd been very friendly. Jinx probably figured Angel was
undercover or something, but every time Angel came to him for
information, Jinx gave it to him. 

When Angel got there that night, the bar was full, and music blared
from the speakers, making it perfect for private conversation. Angel
sat on one of the stools and waited while Jinx served two men drinks.
Then he wandered over to the vampire and smiled. "Angel, what'll you
have?" 

"Nothing today, thanks," Angel answered. "I'm hear to ask you about the
vampire-like murders happening lately." 

Jinx picked up a glass and began to clean it. He nodded. "I've heard
about those. Of course, there've been several in the past few years. Do
you want to know about a certain person's murder?" 

"Perhaps," Angel replied. 

"Are they the ones where the victims have the weird tattoos?" 

Curios, Angel told him, "Go on." 

Jinx glanced around the bar before leaning in closer. "I've heard a few
of my customers talk about it. They say they helped kill these members
of some cult called Watchers. Their victims all had these blue tattoos
on their inner wrists." 

The tattoo description matched with Dawson's, but watchers? They were
the victims? Angel couldn't remember hearing anything about a tattoo
from Giles. Had the council actually changed its decorum? That wasn't
very likely. But what did that have to do with Doyle and this Dawson
guy? "Anything else you know?" Angel asked. "Like who did it?" 

Jinx shook his head. "Never seen them before. But they kept saying they
hoped Spike wouldn't kill them. They were afraid of this guy. They also
said they wanted to drain the guy Spike's working with, whatever
draining means." 

Angel digested this. Spike was in L.A., and he was allied with someone.
"Who's Spike working with?" 

"Don抰 know, except he carried a sword. That's all I can tell you." 

Angel nodded. "Thanks," he said, and left. 



When he got back to the office, Cordelia was still at the computer.
"Hey, Angel," she greeted. 

"What have you found?" Angel asked. 

"That Horton guy was killed a few years ago and buried in Paris,"
Cordelia said. 

"Who killed him?" 

"It doesn't say," Cordelia replied. "But in '97, his brother-in-law dug
him up in France so Horton's family could bury him in Chicago."

"Who's his brother-in-law?" 

"Joseph Dawson." 

Angel walked around the desk and looked at the screen. "The same Joe
Dawson that came to see us today?" 

Cordelia nodded. "There was a picture of him. It was the same guy." 

What else has Doyle been keeping from us? Angel wondered. He asked,
"What about the murders?" 

"They don't say much," Cordy said. "Just that two puncture wounds were
located above one of the viens in the neck of each victim, and their
bodies were drained of blood. The four people killed had these blue
tattoos, and-" 

"Wait, stop," Angel told her. 

"What?" 

"Do they show the tattoo?" 

"Yeah, I think so. Why?" 

"Just let me see it." 

"Okay," Cordelia replied, and went back to the newspaper reports about
the murders. They found a picture of the tattoo and opened it
separately in a new window. 

Angel studied the tattoo. It was round, with one circle around a
smaller circle. In the smaller circle was something that looked like an
up side down 'W'. Also, in the space between the two circles were
thirteen smaller circles lined up like the numbers on a clock. 

"Could you print that out?" Angel asked. Cordelia complied. 

"Do you think you could look for the tattoo?" 

"Yeah, sure, but I don't think I'll find it. Willow is better at this
than me."

Angel looked at Cordelia. "I think I'll call her, then. But first, I'm
calling Giles." 

"Why?" 

"One of my sources told me the tattoo belonged to a group called
Watchers." 

Cordelia's eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed in confusion. "But,
Giles doesn't have a tattoo. Well, not like this one. He only has that
tattoo from when he and Ethan were buds, and I think he had that
removed." 

"I'm going to call him anyway," Angel said. 

"Okay. Hey, have you seen Doyle?" 

"He's not back yet?" Angel asked. 

"No." 

"He probably went to check on his friend, Dawson." Angel walked to his
office door and opened it. "When he comes in, tell him I went to speak
to him." 

Angel sat behind his desk and called Giles. During his visit, Oz had
given Angel and Cordelia a list of phone numbers they could call, now
that everyone was in college and Giles had become an unemployed
bachelor. 

He rang up Giles. The ex-watcher picked it up on the second ring.
"Hello?" 

"Hey, Giles." 

There was a silence, then Giles said, "Hello, Angel. Why are you
calling?" 

The conversation was a strained one. Angel knew Giles hadn't forgiven
him for what he did two years ago, but he knew Giles wouldn't let that
get in the way of helping someone. "I need some information. Do the
Watchers wear a blue tattoo on their inner wrists?"

Giles was silent for a moment while he contemplated the question. "Not
to my knowledge, no. But because I have been out of the loop concerning
watcher activities for a few years, I wouldn't know if the Watchers use
a tattoo at present. Why do you want to know?" 

Angel told him what was going on. When he was finished, Giles said,
"Well, I'll try to find everything I can about this tattoo and another
group calling themselves the Watchers. I'll ask Willow to use that
dreadful machine." 

"Thanks, Giles," Angel said. He paused before he said his next words.
"Say 'hi' to Buffy for me." 

Giles paused again. "I'll see that she gets the message." 

"Bye, Giles." 

"Goodbye, Angel." 



Angel checked his fridge. "D***." 

"What is it?" Cordelia asked from the table. 

"I'm out," Angel said. 

Cordelia was about to ask what he was out of when she glanced at the
fridge, then at the hungry expression on Angel's face. "Oh." 

Angel grabbed his jacket and his keys and headed toward the elevator.
"I'm going to get some more." 

"Like, where?" 

Angel looked at her. "I don't think you'd want to know."  

"That was more information than I needed, actually," Cordelia answered.


Angel said nothing and traveled up the elevator.



PART FIVE

Doyle visited several of his contacts, but none of them knew about the
vampire murders. He hoped Angel found something out. 

If these vampires were killing Watchers in the L.A. area, there was a
possibility that he or Joe were the next targets. Angel had offered to
watch Joe, but Joe had refused. Doyle knew Angel would be hanging in
the shadows. Joe just didn't know what he was facing. Which was why
Doyle was heading over to Joe's hotel to talk to him. 

The cab pulled up to Joe's hotel and Doyle got out. He walked up to the
lobby door and pulled on the handle. 

"Excuse me," a feminine voice said. "But do I know you?" 

Doyle turned and saw Amanda whom, unlike two years ago, he knew was
around twelve hundred years old and very good with a Broadsword. She
stood only a few feet away from him on the sidewalk. "I don't think
so," Doyle told her. 

"Oh. I must have mistaken you for someone else. Goodnight." 

"Goodnight," Doyle replied before slipping inside. 



Amanda had recognized the young Irish man the minute he stepped out of
the cab. When she engaged small talk, his accent just confirmed it. 

She didn't think he was a Watcher. He had spoken to her freely two
years ago, when they first met. But that had been the same night she'd
taken a Quickening, and it couldn't just be coincidence that he was
here, now. She was sure he recognized her, too. The look he'd given her
confirmed it, and he was a bad liar. 

She decided to follow him. She watched through the window as he walked
past the counter to the elevator. She waited until he disappeared
inside before entering the lobby. 

She walked to the elevator and watched the numbers above the doors.
They stopped on the third floor. 

Amanda slipped into the stairwell and started walking up. 

She didn't spot Doyle in the hall. Amanda walked cautiously down the
carpeted floor, listening for Joe or Doyle's conspicuous accent. 

When she reached the end of the hall, she found one of the doors was
slightly ajar. 

Amanda approached it cautiously. Back pressed against the wall, she
listened in, trying to figure out what was going on. What she heard was
an argument. 

"Joe, you could be the next target!" the Irishman yelled. "I could be
the next target! Angel can protect both of us. He's very good at that."


Joe sighed. "You're right. I just didn't want him to find out about
us." 

"Is the Tribunal sending any guards?" 

"No. I'm not their favorite, you may have heard. That's why they sent
me. If the vampire cultists kill me too, they wouldn't think it was
much of a loss. They were planning on killing me three years ago,
remember?" 

Amanda gasped. Vampire cultists? The two Watchers, because Doyle
was obviously a Watcher, may not know it, but she knew exactly what
really went bump in the night. 

The sound of glass breaking inside the hotel room jolted her out of her
thoughts. "Joe, look out!" Doyle shouted, followed by a soft thud. 

Amanda rushed in, taking out her sword. "Joe!"

Glass shards littered the floor. Joe lay on his stomach on the ground,
knocked down by Doyle, who got up and faced the window. 

She looked out the window. Five vampires stood on the hotel room's
third floor balcony. She guessed that when Joe went too close to the
window, the vampires tried to grab him, but Doyle knocked him out of
reach. Because they had to be invited in, even into an occupied hotel
room, they couldn't just waltz right in and try to grab him again.
Instead, the five vampires watched them with yellow eyes and snarled. 

Amanda ran over to Joe. "Joe, are you alright?" 

Joe was a little surprised to see her, but just as surprised to see the
vampires' game faces. "I'm all right." 

Amanda turned to Doyle. She was shocked when he pulled out a stake and
a cross and approached the window. 

"Wait!" Amanda told him. Doyle turned to her. "We rush them on three."
Doyle nodded. "One, two, three!" 

Amanda and Doyle rushed out the floor-length window frame onto the
balcony. Amanda was the first to make a move. She swung her broadsword
at the first vampire that rushed her, beheading it. The vampire turned
to dust, leaving two for Amanda to deal with, and two for Doyle to deal
with. 

One of her two grabbed and yanked out a metal bar in the window frame
and stood on guard.  The other vampire hung off to the side, doing
nothing. 

Amanda swung at the first vampire's stomach, and the demon parried. She
swung upwards at his left shoulder, then down at his right leg, and he
blocked both of them. 

Amanda feinted toward his neck. The vampire moved the bar to block the
swing, but Amanda moved the swipe downwards. It slashed into his
shoulder, cleanly removing the arm holding the bar. 

The vampire only got out a short scream of pain before Amanda beheaded
it. The creature turned to dust as Amanda turned to the other vampire. 

The second vampire was terrified. He looked at her, then at her sword.
He turned and stepped onto the rail. Before he could jump over it,
however, Amanda beheaded it. The dust fell onto the balcony and began
floating to the ground below. 

Amanda turned to see how Doyle was doing. 



Doyle was holding off the other two with the cross. There wouldn't have
been a need if he transformed into his demon self, but Doyle couldn't
risk it in front of Doyle or Amanda. Amanda, it seemed, had experience
with vampires and demons, but Joe would get a big enough shock when
they explained vampires to him. 

After a few minutes, one of the vampires decided to rush him, despite
the pain the cross promised. Doyle stepped back through the window, out
of reach. The vampire slammed into an invisible shield and lost his
balance. Doyle moved in and staked him. 

The other vampire was waiting behind the dust cloud. Doyle brought the
cross back up. The second vampire did not try to attack him like his
companion. Doyle stepped forward, and the demon stepped back, trying to
avoid contact with the cross. 

Doyle backed him up to the railing. The vampire glanced at the railing,
then back up at Doyle. He knew he had no where to run. This time he did
rush him. 

Doyle stepped to the left and plunged his stake into its heart. The
vampire's eyes widened in surprise before it exploded. 

Doyle turned to assist Amanda, only a few feet away from him, and saw
that she had taken care of her two. As one, they turned back to the
broken window. 

Joe stared back at them. "What just happened?" 

Doyle and Amanda looked at each other.



"I can't believe it. I just can't believe it," Joe repeated for the
fiftieth time. 

He and Amanda sat on the hotel room's bed, and Doyle sat in the chair.
Doyle and Amanda had explained everything to Joe. They'd told him what
vampires were, that witches, demons, and other supernatural phenomena
were real, all of that. They'd excluded anything revealing how they
themselves had found out about demons and vampires for their own
reasons. 

He'd had enough trouble believing in Immortals back in Vietnam. But
Vampires? His logical mind wanted to reject the idea, but the evidence
he'd been presented with said it was true. 

"Well, believe it, old chum," Doyle told him. "You've already learned
about Immortals. Why not believe in everything else?" 

"I need a drink," Joe stated. "I put some in the fridge." 

Amanda got the wine and poured all of them some. Joe and Doyle drained
theirs in one gulp; Doyle from practice, and Joe because he really
needed it. Joe was the one who ended up coughing. 

Amanda set her glass down on the nightstand and sat on one twin bed,
opposite the men. 

"So," Joe began when he could talk again. He looked at Amanda. "How did
you find out that demons and vampires were real? Care to share the lost
chronicle?" 

Doyle raised an eyebrow and smiled. "So, Duncan wasn't the only
Immortal who found out about his Watcher?" 

"No, but thankfully, not all of them do," Joe answered. He turned back
to the twelve centuries old woman. "Well, Amanda?" 

"Well," Amanda began. "It was nineteen twenty-seven. As I'm sure you
have written in my chronicles, I had been with Cory Raines robbing
banks across the country, and having a good time. When we split up, I
said goodbye to him and Duncan, and headed for New York." 

"At a dinner party one night in the Big Apple, I met Nathan Prescott.
He challenged me and we went to a nearby alley to fight." 

"Nathan wasn't very good, and I got the upper hand. But when I was
about to behead him, he smiled. Then I heard a scream, coming from
behind some trash cans. I think he was my Watcher. He had been attacked
by several vampires. More vampires fell from the rooftops and attacked
me. I fought back. I soon discovered that most wounds wouldn't stop
them, so I went for the neck. I was kind of surprised when the
creatures turned to dust."

"There were too many of them, and I knew it. I knew the vampires would
get the upper hand very soon, and then Prescott would have me." 

"That was when another figure appeared at the other end of the alley.
It was a girl who couldn't have been older than sixteen. She helped me
kill all of the vampires. During the fight, Prescott fled." 

"I was scratched by one vampire before I dusted him, and it hadn't
healed by the time we'd killed them all. So the girl saw my cheek heal,
right before her very eyes." 

"She got in a defensive position and demanded to know what I was. I
knew the girl was good, and it probably wouldn't do any good to lie to
her, so I told her. After I was finished, I asked her what she was. She
told me she was the Slayer, and that she had a Watcher. She wouldn't
introduce me to him because, if she did, her Watcher would never let
her fight with me again, because it was the tradition of Slayers to
fight alone. I agreed, and helped her several times after that until
she died." 

Amanda picked up her glass and drank the rest. "So, that's my story." 

They were silent for a minute when Doyle spoke, "Actually, the current
Slayer doesn't follow the rules. She has several friends, and even her
Watcher has accepted them." He told them what he'd heard from Cordelia
and Angel about life in Sunnydale and Buffy. 

Amanda smirked. "About time. I met the other Slayer's Watcher at the
funeral. Stuffy English know-it-all told me to-ooh, to think she'd been
in his care! It makes me so furious! It was no wonder she died,
with his rules and ignorance." 

Joe had been confused since Amanda first mentioned 'Watcher'. "What do
you mean by Watcher?"

Doyle cleared his throat. "There's a different group of watchers called
the Watchers' Council," he explained. "Their object in life is to train
the Slayer to fight the forces of darkness."

Joe scratched his head. "Wow. If I hadn't have seen it for myself, I
wouldn't have had any doubts that this wasn't real. But now that I
have" Joe looked at Doyle. "I think I should take this Angel guy's
advice, and get some protection." 

"Protection from what?" Amanda asked. 

"A vampire, or several, have been targeting Watchers in the area over
the past few months," Doyle informed her. "I work at an sort-of
detective agency, so Joe came to me for help." 

"And?" 

"I'm giving it," Doyle replied. "So are the others at Angel
Investigations. Let's go there, and tell Angel and Cordelia what
happened." 

"So the cultists were actual vampires," Joe said, trying to digest
this. "Angel and Cordelia know about vampires too?" Joe asked. 

Doyle nodded. 

"Do they know about Immortals or Watchers?" Amanda asked. 

Doyle shook his head. "No. I卬ever told them." 

Joe got up. "Well, let's go then." 

"I'll help," Amanda offered. "As long as I'm here, and until I find
Prescott." 

"Nathan Prescott?" Doyle asked. Amanda nodded. "He's been known to
torture Immortals before he kills them. If he doesn't have time,
though, he'll win a challenge in minutes." 

"I know," Amanda said. "But I beat him before, and I'm not going to let
him get away again." 

"Are you sure about that?" Joe asked. "I heard he's been practicing."

Amanda shook her head. "No. But I'm not giving up." 



PART SIX

Angel stepped out of a building and put the packets of blood in his
car. It was parked next to the alley separating the Donation Building
from a blues club. He peered into the alley, but it was too dark to see
anything. 

He opened his car door before he heard something coming from the alley.
It sounded like a can hitting concrete. Angel closed his door, made
sure he had a few stakes and that the stakes attached to the springs in
his sleeves were still working, and moved toward the alley. 

When he reached the mouth, he heard muffled sounds and took out a
stake. A few feet away, a vampire was leaning over a woman, draining
her of blood. 

"Get away from her!" Angel told the vampire. 

The vampire turned to him. He looked him up and down and said, licking
his lips, "Well, well." 

Angel got in a defensive position and raised the stake. He glanced
behind the vampire at the woman. She was slouched down, her eyes
unfocused. Angel felt regret and guilt that he was too late to save
her. 

The vampire, noticing his look, smiled. "Well, the mighty Angelus
couldn't save them all, could he?" he taunted. 

Angel was a little surprised the vampire knew him. He wasn't sure he'd
seen the minion before. 

The other vampire continued, "Is it too late to save himself?"  

Two vampires rushed him from both sides. With both fists pointed at the
two rushing vampires, Angel thrust his arms towards him. From his
sleeves, two stakes emerged on springs. They penetrated the two
vampires' hearts easily. Both vampires looked a little surprised before
they burst into dust. 

Angel heard the swoosh-like sound above him, but it was too late. A
vampire fell from the roof onto his back and grabbed him by the
temples. The vampire twisted Angel's head, attempting to tear it off by
the neck. 

Angel turned and ran backwards, slamming into the wall of the alley.
The vampire stopped twisting his neck but did not let go. Angel slammed
into it again and the vampire let out a grunt. After the third time,
the vampire slid to the ground. 

The first vampire rushed him, but Angel kicked him in the neck, turned,
and staked the fallen one. Then he turned and raised his stake, ready
to fight the first one. 

The vampire met his face with a roundhouse punch. He almost hit him
again but Angel deflected it. Then Angel kneed the vampire in the worst
place possible. When the vampire double over in pain, Angel hit him in
the small of his back, and the vampire went down for the count. 

Before the vampire got back up, Angel rolled him onto his back and
straddled him, pinning his arms with his knees. He positioned the stake
over the vampire's chest directly over his heart. "Who's your leader?"
he asked, inwardly grimacing at the bad line. 

The vampire glanced at Angel, then at the stake, afraid. "Please! If I
tell you, will you let me go?" 

"Yes," Angel said. "Who is he?" 

"It's Spike!"

No big news there. "Why did you attack me?" 

"Spike wants you for this spell or ritual or something. I think it's to
locate his insane girlfriend, Dracula or Drusilla or whatever. He said
something about needing her sire's blood." 

"What else do you know?" Angel asked.  

The vampire was freaked. "I don't know, man! I've told you everything!
Now, please let me go." 

Angel seemed to consider it for a minute, then he lifted the stake from
the vampire's chest. The minion sighed in relief. Then Angel brought it
back down and slammed it into his heart. 

The vampire gasped. "You said you'd let me go."

"I changed my mind," Angel told him while the other vampire turned to
dust.  

Angel stood up and was turning toward his car when something shocked
him. Electricity flowed through his blue veins. Angel fell to the
ground, paralyzed. Through his pain, he looked up, trying to see his
attacker. 

Spike stood only a few feet away. The bleach-haired vampire been hiding
behind a few trashcans, and had several more of his vampire cronies
with him. 

Spike held a high-tech weapon. It looked like something only the
military would know about. Spike glanced down at it. "I've got to ask
Prescott where he gets these need little toys."

He motioned toward Angel. "Take him away, boys." 

Three of his minions stepped forward and dragged Angel's limp body to
their van. 

*****

Prescott was furious. He paced back and forth in Spike's lair. The
vampire minions stood out of range. He'd already dusted two in his
rage, and without knowing how to kill him, they were afraid of him. 

Prescott ignored them. He wanted Doyle and Joe, but the vampires had to
go and mess it up. 

He walked up to the vampire scout that had been near Joe's hotel room.
"Tell me everything that happened." 

The scout nodded nervously and began his story. "The others waited
until the limp guy, Dawson, was next to the window before they grabbed
at him. But the other Watcher knocked him to the ground out of the way.
Then this b**** with a sword runs in, checks on Dawson, then she and
Doyle face the window and attack. The other vampires fought back, but
Doyle and the woman dusted them in only minutes." 

"This woman, what did she look like?" Prescott asked. 

"She was tall, maybe six feet, and had short black hair. She wore
fashionable clothes, and her sword was a broadsword, I think." 

Prescott smiled. So, Amanda, you've finally caught up with me. 

The door opened, and Spike came in. His minions followed him, dragging
along an unconscious man Prescott assumed was Angel. 

Unlike Prescott's pseudo-unhappy mood, Spike was pleasantly cheerful.
He walked over to a table and opened an ancient volume. He looked at
one of the pages and his smile got wider. "Soon, Dru. We'll be back
together very soon." 

Prescott cleared his throat, and Spike looked at him, annoyed. "What?"
Spike asked. 

"Your minions failed to bring in the Watchers."  

Spike stepped toward him until they were only inches away. "You
promised to take care of them, Prescott. I gave you those vampires
because you said you could get rid of them."

Prescott smiled. "Are you threatening me, Spike? You can't kill me.
You've tried." 

Spike glared at him. "So, what do you propose this time? Have the
watchers kill us all, because that sounds just fabulous, mate." 

"I'm going to set up a trap," Prescott answered. "Go ahead and perform
the spell to find your girlfriend. I know just the way to lead them
into my trap." 

"And just how is that?"

Prescott smiled. "You'll see." He turned and walked out the room. 

Spike glared at the retreating Immortal's back. But when Nathan
Prescott closed the door behind him, the vampire smiled. He walked over
to a cabinet and opened it. "You're wrong about one thing. I do know
how to kill you, Prescott." 

He pulled out a blade. It was an eleventh-century hand-and-a-half
Broadsword. Three blood grooves ran down the middle of it. 

Spike ran his thumb down one sharp edge. Instantly, blood was drawn
from his vein. Satisfied, he looked around at his vampire minions and
asked, "Who was the scout at Dawson's hotel room?" 

"I匢 was," the scout weakly answered. 

Spike walked toward him. Realizing his fate, the scout backed away. 

"Restrain him," Spike ordered. 

Two more vampires held the cowering minion's arms. The scout watched
helplessly as Spike approached him. "Please," he begged. 

Spike ignored him and swung the blade toward his neck. 

The blade sliced cleanly through his neck. The disembodied head fell
toward the floor and almost landed when the scout's body turned to
dust. 

Spike smiled down at the dust pile, then looked at the blade. "Killing
you, Prescott, is going to be very fun. I've always liked playing with
sharp objects." 

After all, he wasn't called Spike for nothing. His favorite torture
device was a railroad spike, but for Prescott, the Broadsword would do.


With one more smile, he put the sword back in the cabinet, then walked
over to the book and picked it up. "Let's get this show on the road." 



PART SEVEN

When Doyle, Amanda, and Joe got to Angel Investigations, Cordelia was
waiting for them in the office. She jumped up when she saw Doyle,
relieved. After a minute, she tried to hide it with a scowl, but she
was pretty sure it had been seen by all. 

"Well, you took your time," Cordelia told Doyle. She noticed the two
people behind him in the hall. "Hello, Mr. Dawson," seeing the blonde
woman, Cordelia looked back at Doyle. "Who's she?" 

The three entered the office and Amanda offered her hand. "Amanda. I'm
a friend of Joe's." 

Cordelia felt a little relieved that she didn't say Doyle and they
shook hands. "Cordelia." 

Doyle had gone into Angel's office. Now he came back out and asked,
"Have you seen Angel, Cordy?" 

Cordelia shook her head. "He had to get some-substance," she answered.
"But it's been awhile since he left. He hasn't called or anything. Of
course, he's always had this habit of disappearing, even in Sunnydale."


"Sunnydale," Amanda repeated. "Is that where you're from?" 

Cordelia nodded. "Boy, am I glad to get out of that place. Although,
ever since I hooked up with Angel it hasn't been any better." 

"Don't worry, Cordy," Doyle assured her. "They know about vampires and
demons." 

Cordelia's eyes widened, then relaxed. "Oh. That's good to know." She
looked around at everyone. "So what happened?" 

Amanda, Joe, and Doyle told Cordelia what happened. "They really have a
grudge against you, do they?" she asked Joe and Doyle. 

Joe shrugged. "I guess so." 

"What have you found out, Cordelia?" Doyle asked. 

Cordy picked up the picture of the tattoo. "We found out that all of
your friends had this tattoo on them. Know anything about it?" 

Doyle and Joe exchanged looks. They turned back to Cordelia. "Nope.
Never seen it," Joe lied. Doyle nodded in agreement. 

Cordelia just shrugged and put the picture back on Angel's desk. 

A silence followed this until Doyle asked, "Anything else?" 

Cordelia nodded. "Yeah. Spike's the lead suspect."

"Spike?" Doyle asked, alarmed. "He's back in L. A.?" 

Cordelia nodded. 

"Who's Spike?" Joe asked. 

"He's a vampire," Cordelia said. "He kind of has this grudge against
the Slayer. And Angel, because he took the Ring of Amara a few weeks
back." 

"The what?" 

"It makes a vampire practically invincible," Cordelia answered.
"Nothing can kill them. Not stakes, not sunlight, not anything."
Suddenly, she remembered something. "Spike's working with this guy.
Angel said the guy carried a sword." 

"It's Prescott," Amanda said.

"Are you sure?" Doyle asked. 

Amanda nodded. "I'm positive?" 

"Who's Prescott?" Cordelia asked. 

"He's an old enemy of mine." 

"So Spike and Prescott are working together. What do we do now?" Joe
asked. 

"Wait for Angel to come back, I guess-" Doyle grabbed his head. 

"Doyle, what's wrong?" Joe asked, standing up. 

Cordelia, who'd seen this before plenty of times, told them, "Get him
some water and some aspirin." 

Amanda got the water and aspirin, which she found in Angel's office.
When she returned, Doyle's vision had ended, but he still looked
terrible. Amanda offered the glass and pill to him, but he waved it
away. "Could someone get me a scotch?" 

Joe smirked, got the bottle, and poured him a shot. 

"What did you see?" Cordy asked. 

Doyle, after sorting out the Vision, answered, "Angel's been captured
by Spike." 

"What? Why?" 

"It's for a spell. Don't know exactly. All I saw was Angel lying,
beaten, in a spell circle. There were candles, and symbols were painted
on his chest. Spike was there, reading from a book, and so was
Prescott."

"Doyle, do you know where this is?" Amanda was less surprised than Joe
was that Doyle had Visions, and recuperated faster. 

Doyle shook his head. "There was a sign, but I couldn't make it out.
It's in a warehouse, though." 

"There must be hundreds of warehouses in L.A.," Joe said. 

Doyle turned to Cordelia. "Cordy, could you look up warehouses and
their locations? I just need to see the logo and I'll recognize it." 

"Okay," Cordelia replied, and headed toward the computer. 

"Um, guys," Joe spoke up. Everyone looked at him. "I know a faster way
to find Prescott and Spike." 

Doyle said, "Are you sure, Joe?"

Joe nodded. "It was different when we thought only vampire cultists
were involved in this. Now that we know vampires and Prescott is
involved, Cordelia should know. If you trust her, I trust her." 

Doyle looked over at Amanda. She nodded. Doyle took a deep breath.
"Okay. Joe, go ahead and log onto the Watcher Database. Cordelia, come
here. There's something that I want to tell you. And please don't kill
me for not telling you sooner, okay?" 

*****

Angel woke up sitting on a hard concrete floor, leaning against a
support beam. He tried to move his hands from behind his back, and
discovered they were chained to the beam. The metal was too strong to
break. His ankles were manacled as well. 

He studied his surroundings. He was in a small clearing in a warehouse.
To the right were two large sliding doors, and to the left were several
offices. Between the walls, spread unorderly across the concrete floor,
were crates and empty boxes, letting him now that the owners had long
since abandoned the warehouse, unless Spike got to them first. The
windows and the skylight above were covered to keep the sunlight from
pouring in. He had several more hours of the night left over before he
had to worry about that, however. Artificial lights lit the building. 

One of the office doors opened. Angel looked and saw Spike and several
minions walking toward him. The minions held several items needed for
spells, such as holy candles, holy chalk, a spell book, etc. One
vampire held a limp doll, which Angel recognized as Miss Edith,
Drusilla's favorite doll. 

A man in a trenchcoat was also with them. Angel knew he was human,
because he could hear his heart beating at a normal rate. Must be
the guy with a sword Jinx told me about.  

Spike smiled at Angel. "Well, Angel. I don't know about you, but I for
one am happy to see you, sire." 

"Feeling's mutual, William," Angel replied. 

"William? Your name's William?" Prescott smiled. 

Spike glared at the Immortal. "Why are you still here? Aren't you going
to stall your friends before you loose a major part of your anatomy?" 

Prescott smiled. "Empty threats, Spike. But I am going. I was waiting
for the spell to start." 

Spike glared at him. Inside he was fuming. He put his hands at his
sides and felt for the sword hidden within his trenchcoat. It wasn't
an empty threat, mate. If you don't stop those pesky watchers, I
will have your head. 

He turned to his minions. "What are you standing around for? Get to
work!" 

His frightened minions scurried to do his bidding. 

Prescott watched while the preparations were made, then slipped out,
taking ten vampires with him. 



PART EIGHT

Cordelia made a face. "You have to cut off your head to kill you? Eww."


Amanda gaped at the young woman. Doyle wasn't too surprised Cordelia
had accepted Immortals and everything about them so fast, but Amanda
was. Okay, maybe he was a little surprised, although he shouldn't be.
He felt guilty that he hadn't told her sooner. 

"You believe me?" Amanda asked. 

Cordelia nodded. "Lady, you should visit Sunnydale. The Spanish named
it Boca Del Inferno with very good reason, you know. We had to take
care of vampires and demons almost every week, perhaps almost every
day. I've heard the word apocalypse so many times, there never seemed
to be an end to them. Immortals just add to the list." 

"I've found him," Joe called from the computer desk. 

Everyone went over to him. "What have you got, Joe?" Doyle asked. 

"His watcher was one of the people the vampires killed," Joe said.
"Before he died, he reported that Prescott had just bought out a
warehouse owned by Xanatos Storage. Xanatos had been going out of
business and he'd gotten it cheap." 

"Know where Xanatos storage is, anyone?" Cordelia asked. 

Amanda tensed and looked around. "We don抰 need to." 

"Another Immortal?" Doyle asked. 

Amanda nodded. "Yep, and I'm willing to bet it's Prescott." 

She reached inside her coat, which was resting on her chair, and pulled
out her Broadsword. 

"Woah, Amanda, you aren't planning to go out and face him, are you?
What if he has vampires with him? He's done that before, you know."
Doyle asked. 

Amanda smiled. "That's why it's always good to have friends." 



The Buzz led Amanda to an alley opposite the Angel Investigation's
building. When she reached the mouth, she pulled out her Broadsword
again and walked on. 

Prescott stepped out of the shadows in the middle of the short alley.
Behind him was a dead end and around them were trash piles and cans.
There were a million hiding places here. 

Prescott smiled. "Hello, Amanda." 

Amanda held her sword up in a fighting position. "Prescott." 

"I didn't know you were here. If I had, I would have had so much more
fun." 

"Glad to disappoint you," Amanda said. "Are we going to fight or hold a
tea party?" 

Prescott smiled again. "Actually, I thought we could reach some sort of
agreement. You know I have the vampire with a soul. If you win, I'll
take you to him. If you loose, well, you won't live for much longer." 

Amanda smiled deviously, knowing how bad Prescott was with a sword and
at lying, and knowing there was no chance in h*** he was going to win
this time. "Agreed." 

They fought. Amanda was on the offensive right away. She swung at his
left shoulder, and he blocked and forced him to walk further back. She
kept swinging, and he kept blocking or parrying, and she kept forcing
him back. 

Prescott soon felt the alley's dead end wall against his back. It
distracted him enough for Amanda to knock his sword out of his hand. 

Amanda put her sword against his neck. Prescott looked surprised. She
smiled. "Where's Angel and Spike?" 

Prescott stared at her for a minute, then he relaxed. "You haven't won
yet, Amanda." He waited a minute or two, then glanced around. "Idiots!
You can come out now!" 

"If you say so, Prescott," Doyle said, stepping out from behind a row
of trash cans on the left. He held an empty crossbow and a stake. 

Cordelia stepped into the light on the right. She held a crossbow, and
in her belt, she had a stake and a cross. Between them, Joe appeared,
holding a stake and a cross. 

Prescott stared at them, then at Amanda. He gulped. 

Amanda smiled. "Now," she dug her sword into his skin. Prescott
grunted. "Where's Angel?" 



PART NINE

Wearing gloves, Spike's minions placed blessed candles at key points
around the warehouse, while others drew symbols on Angel's naked chest
with pig's blood. One symbol was a star, which was drawn onto the
center of his chest, with the star's center placed directly above his
heart. When they were finished, the minions stood in front of each
candle and waited. 

Holding an open book and a sacrificial knife, Spike stood at least five
feet in front of Angel. "Osiris, god of the dead and the afterlife," he
chanted. He took a step toward Angel.

He thrust the blade up to the hilt through Angel's chest less than an
inch above his heart, but still within the center of the star-symbol. 

Angel screamed. The blade was blessed, and it hurt a lot. 

Spike stepped back, and spoke to the ceiling, "I offer this vampire as
a sacrifice. Accept his blood, and grant my request." 

As if in an answer, the candles' flames burned higher and brighter for
several seconds. 

Angel's blood flowed out of his chest onto the ground. The blood
stopped a few inches away, and formed a small circle of red liquid
around the vampire. Spike stepped back and stood outside the circle.
The symbols on Angel's chest glowed a bright red, except for the star,
which glowed a bright, blinding white. 

Angel's blood never stopped flowing from the wound. He could feel
himself getting weaker. He needed to drink soon, or he'd die. 

Spike knew it, too. He smiled, and leaned down to Angel's ear and
whispered, "Hurts, doesn't it? With you dead, Dru will have no choice
but to accept me." 

"You-you think卻he'll come to you after卐verything that happened?"
Angel said weakly. He laughed, trying to seem stronger than he was, but
he couldn't. The knife and perhaps even Osiris were preventing him from
keeping up a strong front. He ended up coughing. "She'll still prefer
me over you卆ny day." 

Spike fought to control his fury, then looked back up at the ceiling.
"Almighty god Osiris! I, William the Bloody also known as Spike, the
childe of this sire, hearby call upon you to locate this sire's other
childe, the vampire known as Drusilla." 

A minion handed him Miss Edith and stepped back. Spike threw the doll
into the circle of blood. 

"This object was hers. Almighty, I request that you use it to find her
and lead her here and back to my arms." 

A wall of white light appeared around the circle. The symbols on
Angel's chest glowed brighter. 

Angel felt pain all over his body, as if the light were as deadly as
the sun. In only a few minutes, the spell would be complete, and he
would be dust, if not from the light then from blood loss. 

After a rumbling noise reminiscent of thunder, the barrier of light
flashed and disappeared, and the candles were blown out by a wind that
wasn't there. 

The symbols on Angel's chest were the last things to dim and become dry
blood. The pool of Angel's blood on the floor evaporated, sending smoke
up to the ceiling. 

The warehouse was completely dark. 

"Lights!" Spike called. 

The main power was turned back on, and the room was lit again by
electricity. 

Angel was still tied to the pillar. The sacrificial blade was still
plunged in his chest, but no more blood flowed out of the wound. Angel
wasn't dust yet, but he was getting very close.  

Spike stared at Angel for a minute, not sure if the spelled worked or
not. 

Then the arrows began to fly through the windows. 

Nine of his minions fell under the onslaught, and Spike hid behind a
crate, barely missing an arrow. 

Cordelia, Doyle, and Amanda charged into the warehouse. Cordelia and
Doyle held crossbows and Amanda held a medieval sword. 

"Get them!" Spike ordered his remaining eight vampires. 

His minions attacked. Doyle fired another bolt at one of them, and it
was dust. Then they were too close to use the crossbow. Amanda swung
her sword, beheading two vampires with one clean stroke. That left
five. 

Doyle hit one vampire on the side of the head, sending him spinning
back to Cordelia. She staked him in the back. Another vampire rushed
her, and she held it back with her cross.   

Meanwhile, a third minion was fighting with Doyle. Amanda faced the
last, having already beheaded the fifth vampire. Her vampire had found
a crowbar and was blocking her swings. 

Doyle dusted his vampire and turned to Cordelia. Her vampire knocked
the cross out of her hands and grabbed her neck. Doyle walked up to
him. The vampire looked in his direction and Doyle punched him. The
vampire let go of Cordelia. Doyle brought his fist up again but the
vampire blocked it. When he tried to punch the vampire with his left
hand, the vampire grabbed his wrist. 

Cordelia had picked up her cross and now stuck  it in the vampire's
face. The vampire loosened his grip on Doyle and Doyle kneed him in the
stomach, forcing the vampire away. 

Meanwhile, Amanda dusted her vampire and hurried over to help the
others. 

She saw the remaining minion rush Doyle. Doyle side stepped. Unable to
stop, the vampire raced over to her and her sword. Amanda beheaded it. 

The vampire burst into a cloud of dust. 

The threesome looked around and saw Angel. "Angel!" Doyle and Cordelia
cried at the same time. They ran over and untied him while Amanda
scouted the area. She returned a few minutes later. 

"Spike's fled," she reported. 

Angel was now lying on his back on the ground. His features had
transformed, hungry for blood. 

Doyle pulled a pack out of his jacket and held it to Angel's lips.
They'd found Angel's car on the way there, and had gotten the blood
from it before heading there. 

Angel drank greedily, draining the entire packet. Doyle, Cordelia, and
Amanda tried to not to look disgusted by the sight. 

A few minutes later, his wounds were beginning to heal, and Angel's
face returned to normal. Doyle and Amanda helped him up and over to the
convertible. 



EPILOGUE

Angel, now fully recovered, sat at the table in his apartment. Amanda,
Doyle, Joe, and Cordelia were eating supper, and Angel even ate a few
things. 

"So, you're a vampire," Joe said. His eyes glistened with curiosity and
excitement, even a little fear, but the denial and shock was gone.
Angel figured the Watcher had seen enough proof that night not to be in
denial. 

Angel smiled a little. "Yeah. I'm a vampire." 

Joe spent the entire meal drilling him with questions-did he drink
blood, how old was he, did he sleep in a coffin, etc. Finally, Doyle
cut in, saying, "I think you've tortured him enough, Joe." 

Angel threw a relieved look in the half-demon's direction. 

After they finished eating, Joe and Doyle told Angel about the Watchers
and the Immortals. When they were finished, Angel nodded. "That
explains a few things," he commented. 

"Well," Amanda said, getting up. Even after they explained it all,
Angel had trouble believing that this young-looking woman was actually
twelve hundred years old. He'd gotten used to being the elder. "I've
gotta go. I don't think Duncan would mind if I came over for a short
visit." 

Joe chuckled. "He'd love to see you, Amanda. He always does. Are you
going to warn him before you show up at the airport?" 

Amanda seemed to consider it for a moment. "Nah." 

Joe chuckled again and stood up, too. "I've gotta head on up to
Seacouver, too." He looked at Doyle. "I'll be expecting your report
tomorrow." 

Doyle rolled his eyes, but nevertheless answered, "You've got it, Boss.
You came seeking my help, and we discovered that the killer was Nathan
Prescott just about the same time Amanda here took his head. Nothin'
about vampires or nasty headache-inducing visions to speak of." 

Joe smiled. "Glad to hear it." 

"What about Prescott?" Angel asked, wondering if Amanda really did take
his head.

Amanda smiled. "You won't have to worry about him anymore." 

Angel didn抰 press. He got his answer. 

Doyle, Cordelia, and Angel escorted them up the elevator to the front
door. After Joe and Amanda were gone, the three walked back to the
office. "I need a drink." Doyle said, walking toward the liquor bottle
beside the coffee machine. 

Cordelia grabbed his arm, stopping him. When Doyle looked at her, she
slapped him. 

Doyle rubbed his red cheek. "What was that for?" 

"Why didn't you tell me you were a Watcher? We agreed not to keep
secrets from each other. We agreed it was bad to keep secrets, cause
stuff like all this could happen!" 

"Relax, Cordelia," Angel said, smiling inwardly. "We all have our
secrets." 

Cordelia didn't say anything else. "I'm gonna call it a night. If you
need me, Angel, I'll be at home." 

She stormed out. Doyle sighed, poured the much-needed drink, and sat
down. He'd known Cordelia wouldn't take it lightly that he'd lied to
her, but it still hurt for the girl he had a crush on to be angry with
him. 

"She'll get over it," Angel promised. 

"Yeah," Doyle said. He downed his shot. "Spike completed the spell." He
looked at Angel. 

The vampire sighed and looked at his desk. "Yeah, he did." 

"Drusilla's going to come," Doyle said. "Spike will probably head back
to Sunnydale. If they're going to be together again, Buffy should
know." 

"I'll tell her tomorrow," Angel promised. 

Doyle nodded. "I'm going to head off. 'Night, Angel." 

"Goodnight." 

When he heard the door slam, Angel picked up the book he was reading
earlier and read from the bookmarked page onward. But he wasn't reading
it. He was thinking about everything that had happened that evening. 

He wasn't angry with Doyle. He understood the need for secrecy
sometimes. What he was worried about were his childe, Drusilla, and his
grandchilde, Spike, and of Buffy, who would have to deal with them. 

He was about to call her when the phone rang. Angel picked it up.
"Hello, Angel Investigations. We卙elp the helpless." 

"Hello, Angel," Giles said. "We've managed to log onto the Watcher
Database, and it's hard to believe what's there. There's no mention of
these Immortals or the Watchers that chronicle their lives in any of my
books, yet the site claims that the Watcher Society has been around for
four thousand years." 

"You don't have to tell me, Giles," Angel said. "I know all about
them." 

"Oh," Giles paused. "You got information from another source?" 

"Yeah." 

"Well," Giles went on. "I hope it helps with厀hatever you need it for."


"Oh, it did," Angel assured him. He added, "Spike was here." 

"Spike? What was he doing in L. A.?" 

"He needed my blood to locate Drusilla and bring her to him." 

"Oh, dear," Giles said. "Did he succeed?" 

"Yes, he did." 

"I'd tell Buffy and the others right away. I would advise you to be
careful in case they show up in L. A. sometime in the future. Thank you
for telling me, Angel."  

"I'll be careful," Angel promised. "Tell Buffy and everyone to be
careful, too. Bye, Giles." 

Angel hung up.



Doyle stepped into his apartment, cleared a space on his couch, and sat
down. He sighed heavily. Cordelia and Angel knew about Immortals now.
That wasn't a big deal, really. It was Joe he was worried about. 

He was sure Joe would keep quiet about all of this. But what about the
other Watchers? What if they found out that Angel was an immortal
being, and they mistake him for an Immortal? 

He'd always worried about these things ever since he became a Watcher.
But before, he'd never associated with an Immortal except with Amanda
that night in Harry's Bar and Grill. What if they found out that he'd
worked with Amanda to get Angel back? What if they found out he was a
half-demon?

He couldn't guarantee Joe would stay silent. But Doyle couldn't exactly
get out of this. The Watchers were everywhere, pretty much. He'd just
have to take the same risk he'd taken for the last two years. He'd also
have to figure out a way to be in Cordelia's favor again. 

That's when the pain came. Doyle didn't know it at the time, but his
arms lashed out, knocking clothes off the couch onto the piles on the
floor. 

Doyle saw only flashes of images, but they were enough to fill him in. 

When the Vision ended, Doyle got some aspirin and picked up the phone,
dialing Angel's number. He had to tell Angel what he saw before it was
too late. 

James Horton's followers, the Hunters, were coming to L. A. 

The End