Title: Inked Retribution
Rating: R (for language and torture)
Pairing: Giles, Angelus (no pairing)
Summary: Payback, thy name is Ripper.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: My site/LJ, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author's Note: Thanks to Gabrielle and WickedFox for the beta.
Author's Note 2: I don't usually write dark!fic, but this idea wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it.
See Awards this story has won.
image by katekat1010
He had bided his time. He was careful, meticulous, in his planning. He grieved; he went through the motions of all of the stages of grief, having experienced them numerous times before. Only this time, he wasn't allowing himself to heal. Quite the contrary.
In the weeks since Jenny had been brutally murdered the fury had simmered, slowly building, always just below the surface. He put a good show on for his slayer, acting as if he was trying to move on; when in truth he was barely holding onto his sanity due to her inability to kill her former lover.
The children all thought the slight change in his personality was caused by his grief. After all, it would be completely natural for a man to behave out of character when he found the woman he loved dead in his bed. What they didn't realize was that this "different" personality had always there.
The light flickered as the switch was thrown, the single bare light bulb only dimly illuminating the damp basement. The lone occupant of the room didn't acknowledge the additional light, but his eyes were suddenly riveted to the staircase.
Giles entered the room carrying a small doctor's bag with him. He turned on a couple more lamps as he made his way over to the figure chained to the wall, ignoring the snarling coming from the creature.
"Let me out of here," the vampire growled, yanking uselessly on the chains.
"No," Giles responded dryly. He set the bag on the table under one of the floor lamps, keeping his back to the vampire. He had no reason to fear an attack - not with the magickally enhanced chains keeping his captive's wrists and ankles tightly bound to the wall.
He removed a vial containing an animal sedative and a syringe. Giles' eyes were cold and determined as he watched the needle pierce the thin covering of the vial and the syringe began to fill with the green liquid. When the syringe was full, he returned to the vampire, ignoring its protestations, and injected it with the serum. It didn't take long for the vampire to pass out.
"It's time to take care of some unfinished business, Angelus," Giles told the sleeping vampire.
Angelus woke suddenly with a pounding headache, tightly bound to the table he'd been forced to stare at for days now. He was on his back, shirtless. His wrists were attached to the table at his sides by hospital restraints and he guessed that's what was keeping his ankles bound to the table legs as well. There were also restraints across his neck, waist and thighs - all strengthened by magick. He turned his head carefully, trying to sense where Giles had gone.
If he weren't so pissed off at being captive, he'd be impressed with the Watcher's backbone. Who would have thought the old man had it in him? He certainly hadn't. He'd always viewed Giles as Buffy's sniveling lapdog. He wouldn't make that mistake again.
Angelus cursed himself for being in this situation. Actually, he cursed Giles, but the man seemed to have wax in his ears. No matter how loudly he growled, yelled, or threatened, he was ignored. He despised being ignored.
Ironically, that's exactly what got him into this situation. He'd come across Giles several blocks from this building. Thinking that the Watcher was up to good, he'd stalked him. When they were a block away, Giles had begun to run.
Angelus had made his presence known, although from the increase of speed in the chase, it obviously wasn't necessary. He taunted Giles for running, paying no mind to where they were going. He'd even stayed a respectable distance away to prolong the chase.
The hunt picked up when Giles disappeared into this building. Angelus followed. He was beginning to get annoyed with this game, and was tempted to just leave, but he wasn't willing to give Giles the satisfaction.
"Come out, come out wherever you are," the vampire sing-songed. He stood perfectly still, eyes closed as he used his senses to try to locate the human. He expected to hear the increased palpitations of a nervous and scared person. Oh, he heard a heartbeat, but it wasn't racing with the adrenalin of fear. It was calm, steady, and directly behind him, he realized, as the crowbar connected with the back of his head.
That was three nights ago.
Giles leaned over Angelus when he noticed the vampire had finally awoken.
"Ah, there you are," he commented. "I was starting to think you were going to sleep the night away."
"Let me up," Angelus growled, rattling the table as he tried to twist free of his bonds.
"I think not. We've barely begun the games. You don't want to leave before the fun has been had, now do you?"
"This is hardly my idea of fun."
"Come, come now," Giles sneered. "I thought you liked being chained up. Or is it that you prefer doing the chaining? I can't always remember with you bloodsuckers. Oh well, this'll just have to do for now."
As he spoke, Giles finished laying out the instruments for tonight's "game".
"And where did you learn so much about the bondage habits of vampires?" Angelus taunted. "Get down and dirty with a vamp or two in your youth?"
"I am a Watcher, it is my business to know everything about vampires." Giles brought the needle into Angelus' line of sight. "Including what causes them pain."
"Ooh, I'm real scared now." Angelus laughed. "You're going to prick me with a needle."
"Not quite," Giles grinned, a menacing hint of glee behind his eyes and in his voice. He dipped the needle into the bottle of ink resting on the table, then moved it to the vampire's left pectoral, over where the body's heart once beat.
After the first prick, Giles paused as Angelus' back arched off the table as far as the bonds would allow.
"What the fuck is in that thing?" he howled.
"This?" Giles innocently asked. "It's your standard tattooing needle. Of course, you are probably referring to the holy water that I mixed the ink with."
"You're giving me a fucking tattoo?" Angelus asked incredulously.
"Well, you seem so fond of them," Giles pointed out.
"Darla gave me that tattoo. It was her idea, not mine," Angelus protested.
"And this is my idea, do shut up and take it like a man," Giles coldly said before resuming his work. "Then again, you're not a man, are you demon?"
"What are you putting on me?" Angelus asked after half an hour of silence from the human, during which he fantasized about how he would repay Giles' hospitality.
"It's a surprise," was all that Giles would answer.
"Well, it's starting to itch," Angelus complained, trying to sound disinterested, when it was actually starting to burn.
"That's hardly surprising," Giles commented, smirking as he began to fill in the outline he'd just closed.
Needing to distract himself from the increasing discomfort, Angelus tried to make small talk.
"Where'd you learn to do this anyway?"
"Remember the demon Angel was kind enough to rid me of?"
"Eyghon," Angelus ground out in acknowledgement, hating that Angel allowed that poor excuse for a demon into his body.
Giles paused in his work, rolling up his sleeve and bringing his own tattoo before Angelus' eyes. "Someone else had to give me this, but I did the rest of the group's."
"So, mine has something to do with demons?" Angelus guessed. "Hate to ruin it for ya, Rupert, but I've already got me a demon in this body. Not looking to share."
"Who said this was to summon a demon?" Giles countered with the lift of an eyebrow, returning to his work of adding detail to the design.
Angelus tried to hold still, but the pain and burning had been steadily growing in intensity the longer Giles worked. He was a Master Vampire, the Scourge of Europe; he would not beg this piddly human to stop. No matter how much it hurt.
It couldn't just be from the holy water either. Yeah, that hurt like a mother fucker, but it was more than just that. It was almost as if he was being burned by a…
"You fucking put a cross on me?" Angelus bellowed as the pieces finally came together.
"Bravo," Giles deadpanned. "It only took you until I'd finished to figure that out."
"Finished?" Angelus asked, hoping that wasn't relief he heard in his voice.
"Just." Giles stepped back. "It's rather a good job, if I do say so myself."
"You put a permanent cross on my chest!" Angelus said again in disbelief.
"Right over your non-existent heart," Giles smugly added. "Nothing a good staking won't remedy. I even gave you a target."
"I'm going to kill you for this," Angelus snarled, pure venom in his words. "I will show you the true meaning of the word torture."
"You can certainly try," Giles agreed with a shrug of his shoulders. "It hardly matters at this point. I'll be able to be with my Jenny again. And perhaps it would finally give Buffy the motivation she lacks to be rid of you, permanently."
"You're bluffing. You don't want to die."
"I guess you'll just have to try to kill me and find out. If I ever decide to let you out of here, that is."
"You can't hold me here forever," Angelus pointed out.
"No, I can't. But that will hardly be necessary, now will it?" Giles smirked.
"What are you on about now?"
Giles took a couple of steps back and folded his arms across his chest as he rested against the back of a chair. "I don't think that we'll have to wait for me to slip up and release you, or for Buffy to grow a spine and kill you. No, you'll do it for us."
"Hate to disappoint you, but I don't plan on staking myself any time soon."
"You may not be planning on it now, but just wait several days. Right now you don't fully feel it because the skin is still irritated from receiving the tattoo. Just wait until the ink sets and the holy water burns fully into your skin. The cross will eat away at your flesh. I'm sure you can see the steam beginning to rise off your chest, just as clearly as I can. Burning flesh does have a rather pungent aroma."
Angelus didn't need to look. He could feel it - the low-grade burning, the incessant itching, hear the hissing of his flesh.
Giles pushed off the chair back and loaded his bag with his tools. Without a move to release Angelus from his position, or even so much as a word to the vampire, he headed towards the stairs.
"You can't just leave me here like this!" Angelus called after him.
"I don't think you're in any position to tell me what I can and cannot do. You'll be freed when I see fit to free you. If ever." With that, Giles turned off all the lamps in the room and ascended the stairs.
The light bulb flickered as it was switched off and the sound of the heavy door slamming shut reverberated throughout the dark, abandoned building. Angelus' howl of frustration followed a grinning Giles down the street.
Copyright© March 2005