the pearl

Plan B

For a law firm that prided itself on its lack of morality, Wolfram & Hart was occasionally fond of performing acts of greater good.

In this case, for reasons left only to themselves and the Senior Partners, they decided to put an end to the Master's vampiric industrial revolution. Perhaps they wanted to eliminate competition from their own secret projects in pre-packaging. Perhaps they wanted to make sure he didn't take control of all of Los Angeles. Perhaps he just stuck his lawyer in the damned machine. They didn't bother to explain themselves - they just went ahead and initiated a plan.

And it was obviously a plan, carefully laid out, with pie charts and statistics and even possibly roman numerals to match the outline.


I. Acquire a knowledge base.

There were approximately two people in all of Sunnydale who knew what was going on. There had been more, and, according to the local sources, there had even been a Slayer for a short period of time, but that was at the beginning of the Master's plan, and, well, she just hadn't lasted long.

So when Lilah Morgan pulled up to the semi-ruined buildings that used to be the high school, she made certain that she brought along a considerable amount of firepower. Not just for the inevitable vampire attack, but in case these two had become entirely entrenched in battle, unable to think of leaving.

Her right-hand man, a tall drink of cool Midwestern well water, made the all-clear gesture, and they walked right into the library, her bodyguards following Lilah as she strode towards the two men. The men tensed, drawing stakes, looking at her with barely repressed panic, wondering what new horrors would come from this.

She smiled, not too large, not too sharp, just the right amount of affection mixed with respect. "Mr. Osbourne, Mr. Giles," she said. "I have a deal to make with you. I suggest you accept it."


II. Acquire a weapon

There was one scroll that detailed the ritual, and there were only a few people who could read it. Luckily, Mr. Giles translated it perfectly, right down to the last endnote. And, luckily, he was willing to perform the ritual. And, luckily, Mr. Osbourne, a pale wisp of a boy that the typing pool of Wolfram & Hart was abuzz about, sighing over his eyes, his hands, his soft smiles as he held open elevators even for them, was more than willing to assist, roaming through the streets at night with Mr. Finn, Lilah's bodyguard, hunting and trapping four vampires.

They read. They prepared. They chanted and moved and watched as the cyclone of vampire dust spun and coalesced and slowly formed something in the box.

A groan. A breath. And Lilah smiled. "Hello, Angel," she crooned to the box. "We need your help."


III. Induction

"I...I died."



"They brought you back."


Osbourne gestured at the map on the wall of his apartment - the only decoration in a rather Spartan setting. "Because of him."

Angel looked at the map, his face settling into resolve. "They hurt me," he said, his voice low and dirty.

"They hurt a lot of people."

"No, they..." He paused, frowning. "There were two of them - a black-haired boy and a redheaded girl. He liked them, and he..." Angel paused again. "Darla didn't want me. She said my soul disgusted her. So he gave me to them." He traced his fingers over the map of Sunnydale, right over the warehouse district, right where the Master's factory sat, belching out ash and smoke and blood.

"They're dust," Osbourne replied, watching him.

Angel turned towards him. "Are they?"

He nodded. "The redhead definitely is. I'm guessing the other one is too, since he didn't take his revenge on me killing his girl."

Angel raised his eyebrows. "Oh."

Osbourne raised his eyebrows too. "Just 'Oh'?"

Angel shrugged. "I had kinda hoped to do it myself."

The tension drained from the room, and Osbourne smiled. He held out his hand. "I'm Oz," he said.

"I'm Angel."

"And yet I knew that already."


IV. Research

"I haven't been human in..."

"Three hundred and forty-seven years," Oz answered.

Angel looked at him. "How'd you know that?"

Oz shrugged. "I read your file."

"Oh." Angel paused. "Wait, they have a file on me?"

"They have a file on everyone. This dimension, alternate dimensions, everything you could want to know about someone."

"They have a file on you?"

Oz nodded. "Of course."

"Can I read it?"

"Only if you want to be bored."

Angel leaned in closer to Oz. "I don't think that could happen," he said, his voice low.

Oz raised a single eyebrow and smiled. "Oh?"


V. Training

Angel's tattoo is cool against Oz's heated tongue, a faint tracery of ink and scar against smooth skin as he licks and sucks and feels all of Angel against him. The line of his back. The curve of his shoulder. The nape of his neck and the soft moans he gets as he kisses it.

Oz is lying on top of Angel, and Angel presses back against his body, chest to back, hips to hips, legs spreading and allowing Oz to slip into him carefully, painlessly, wonderfully.

They push, they pull, they strive forwards and backwards and ever ever closer to that point, that singular point, with both of them softly chanting each other's name, with both of them superheated and raw, with both of them gasping, shouting, laughing, and falling back onto the bed with soft kisses.


VI. Preparation

"I don't want to do this," Angel muttered sullenly, staring at the other vampire from underneath his brow.

Oz nodded. "I don't want you to do this either," he said, placidly, calmly, as if talking to a two-year-old. "But Lilah's right. None of us are strong enough to take him on - we need someone who is."

"So why don't you just ensoul him!" he shouted, waving his hand at the vampire who tilted his head slightly and smiled.

Oz shook his head. "It doesn't work like that - we need you. You're the only one who's ever been ensouled, you're the only one who is strong enough, and you're the only one who could do this." He looked down. "I know..."

"No, you don't," Angel snapped. "You've never been vamped. You've never had a demon inside of you struggling to get out, to maim, to kill, to destroy everything that you love, and like it."

Oz looked up at him, his eyes slightly narrowed. "You're right, I haven't done all that. But I know what needs to be done, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes." He paused, looking away. "Are you?"

Angel sighed, looking at Oz. "Are you..." He paused. "Are you sure she can..."

"The gypsy we found? Yeah. Her family's kept this whole ritual secret for a century now..." Oz smiled slightly. "And all this time, she was hiding in our own IT department..."

Angel smiled, then grew serious when he turned to Oz. " know that...when...I..." He struggled to find words.

Oz nodded, biting his lower lip. "I know. The catch." At Angel's questioning glance, he shrugged. "Janna explained it to me."

"Oz, I don't think I can..."

"Then don't think," Oz said abruptly. "Don't think, just do it." He reached over and grasped Angel's hand. "We'll deal with all that later."

Angel leaned over and kissed him, reveling in the taste and texture of Oz's mouth as Oz reveled in the pulse that slipped through Angel's skin, then, slowly, sadly, walked over to the vampire.


VII. Battle

The entire fight took less than an hour. Finn, Osbourne, and Lockley and Gunn from the LAPD Vampire Task Force lead their teams into the building, quickly and efficiently dispatching vampires in a precise methodical fashion. Giles lead the hostage release team, and Morgan supervised from the base camp a block away, her techies buried neck deep in telemetry.

As they cut a swathe through dust and decay, a single figure stood tall, a single stake in his hand as he faced the Master.

The Master tilted his head slightly. "Angelus?" he asked.

"Angel," the man replied, just as he attacked.


VIII. Clean-up

When the Master was dust and the factory shut down, it was general consensus that the only way to make sure that it was over would be to destroy the factory from the ground up.

Finn got a man to lay the explosives, and, from a few miles away, the limping survivors watched as the place that would have been their death toppled, smokestacks collapsing into themselves as dust filled the air.

Some applauded. Some wept. And the scattered bunch of soldiers, all bearing wounds - both mental and physical - watched silently.

Oz limped over to Angel, who kept his eyes on the spot where the factory once was. "So that's it," he said, his voice soft.

Angel didn't look away. "That's it."

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at