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February 2017

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BtVS Ficlet: The Monster Within

Title: The Monster Within
Fandom: BtVS
Author: badly_knitted
Characters: Angel, OCs
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Nothing specific.
Summary: Angel will fight evil of all kinds in an effort to atone for his crimes.
Word Count: 662
Written For: withasmile87’s prompt ‘any fandom with vampires, any, being at the scene of a crime when someone gets stabbed or shot,’ at comment_fic
Disclaimer: I don’t own BTVS, or the characters. They belong to Joss Whedon.




Just because Sunnydale is on a Hellmouth doesn’t mean that demons and vampires are responsible for all the mayhem occurring there. Ordinary human crimes still exist; burglaries, muggings, even murders.


Angel mostly goes after supernatural villains, lending the Slayer a helping hand. It’s not that Buffy really needs his help, but it makes him feel like he’s doing something useful, something towards atoning for all his past crimes. Nevertheless, when the opportunity arises, he’ll put a stop to purely human crimes too, driving off stalkers, muggers, and thieves of every kind.


He can’t be everywhere at once though, and this time he’s too late to do much good. He arrives on the scene, a garbage-strewn alley near the Bronze, just in time to see a mugger thrust a knife into the gut of a hapless, half-drunk kid and make off with his wristwatch and wallet.


The mugger won’t get away; Angel has his scent and will see to it that he pays the price for what he’s done. The police will find him on their doorstep later, trussed up like a Christmas turkey, complete with the knife he just used. He’s sure they won’t have any trouble getting the guy to confess; getting him to shut up might be a bit more difficult.


He’ll have to wait though; probably thinks he’s getting away clean. Angel’s priority is taking care of the victim; he needs to stop the bleeding and call an ambulance. He can phone from the Bronze, there’s a payphone outside, but first things first. Stripping off his t-shirt, Angel wads in up and uses it to put pressure on the knife wound, feeling the demon inside him raise its head and roar as the scent of fresh blood assails his nostrils.


It’s torture of the worst kind. His mouth waters, he can practically taste the rich, hot blood and he feels his face morph, his demon surfacing unbidden. He forces it back down, grabs the kid’s hands in his own blood smeared ones and places them over the makeshift dressing.


“Press down,” he grates out. “I’ll be right back, I just have to phone for help. You’ll be fine.”


He doesn’t wait for a reply, doesn’t expect one, and there’s no time to waste anyway. He’s almost to the phone when he realises he’s licking his fingers, sucking the blood from each one in turn, the taste flooding his mouth and making him almost giddy. Guilt slams into him and it’s all he can do not to fall to his knees, shame and disgust warring against each other. Despite his soul, he’s still a monster and always will be; the craving for human blood will never go away, a permanent torment to be endured, a constant reminder of his unique situation, human and demon coexisting in one body.


Making it to the phone, he dials the emergency number and requests an ambulance before returning to the injured kid, unconscious now and still bleeding. Applying pressure once again to slow the bleeding even if he can’t stop it completely, he grits his teeth and endures, closing his eyes against the sight of all that red.


‘Such a waste,’ the demon inside him whispers. ‘Drink,’ it urges, but he shakes his head. “No.” He’s in control now, clinging on grimly by his fingernails maybe, but he’s still going to win this fight. He has to, for the sake of his soul.


The ambulance sirens are closer, and just before the vehicle turns into the alley Angel slips away into the shadows. He’ll stay until they leave, then wash the blood from his hands and track down the man responsible for spilling it. Fists clenched so tightly that he’d be drawing blood from his own palms if he were still human, he stands, unmoving and unseen.


The boy will live, that’s something, a good night’s work, but what does it really change? No matter how many he saves, it will never be enough.



The End







Comments

Poor Angel, doing the right thing when it'd be much easier to give in to his demon, when he fears that in the end, even doing his best would never be enough.
Yeah, he's got so much to make up for but it's a constant battle to stay in control, he has to remain vigilant, but sometimes if his attention drifts, instincts take over.

Thank you.