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That Voodoo You Do Do

Project Paranormal

Author: Adjovi

Season 3

Part 11

 

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Summary: As Angel and Buffy try to spend a quiet Valentine’s Day together, someone from Angel’s past had other ideas.

 

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That Voodoo You Do Do

  

*

 

1765 France

 

Angelus was disappointed. He had thought they would find France replete with fattened aristocracy, blood sweetened on the finest cheeses and wines. What they had found was Holtz. Or, more accurately, Holtz had found them, again, relentlessly driving them from place to place. Angelus had grown bored of the constant vigilance, and against the admonition of his travelling companion, he abandoned her in the lush hotel to go on the hunt.

 

Nothing looked out of the ordinary, just the sleepy goings on of a small provincial town nearing midnight. Vendor’s stalls that were set up along dirt roads had been abandoned and the only buildings still emanating light from the windows were the several buvettes that flanked the marketplace. A few patrons milled around the entrances, but the streets were largely deserted, in no small part because word that two vampires had entered their midst tended to circulate quickly.

 

Uninspired with his current locale, his gaze soon drifted outside the town proper. After a few moments he noticed a bright glow of orange in the center of one of the far fields. The firelight cast the long shadows of the dancers across the flat plain. He could barely make out swatches of white moving in erratic patterns, the wearers too far away to make out faces. He strained and could make out rhythmic drumming and occasional shrieks emanating from the moving patches of white. “What’s this, then?” he asked aloud.

 

“Humans worshipping demons.” A drunkard had swayed into his path, following his sight line. “Fresh in from Africa.”

 

Angelus rolled his eyes in disbelief. “They’re probably just trying to make it rain.” His mouth curved into a cruel smile, and the next words he spoke were under his breath. “I’ll give them a real demon to worship.”

 

Regrettably, when he had finally reached the fields he found them abandoned. The worshippers had somehow been alerted to what was coming and had fled in a hurry. But, as luck would have it, they had left behind a lovely bottle of rum which made for a very nice evening indeed.

 

***

Angel woke with a start. For a moment he was unsure of where he was, still caught someplace else. He braced his hands against the mattress, cobwebs of the dream still holding claim over his brain. His reverie was broken when Buffy moved slightly in her sleep, the soft susurrations of her heart and even breath the only sounds in the room. Angel wiped a shaky hand over his face, then moved closer to her, seeking out her warmth. He wrapped his arms around her middle, pulling her flesh against his broad chest and nuzzling her hair. She sighed softly and brought her hands to his, fingers entwining, never waking. Why had this dream come now? Of an event that in the grand scheme of what he had done barely even registered when he dredged up recollections of his past ills? Memory was a strange mistress indeed. He shivered involuntarily and Buffy shifted, trying to wrap him around her tighter, perhaps sensing his need for her even in sleep.  

 

***

 

Buffy puttered around the kitchen noisily, her actions sending Zillah for cover, sensing the human’s irritation. In truth, it was silly. She knew that. Being angry at a vampire for sleeping late was like blaming a zebra for its stripes. But, their time together was supposed to be special. After much cajoling from both her and Angel, Giles had been convinced to take a long trip that would culminate in London at the symphony with Alex. He was probably visiting with Nick right now, Buffy mused, and would most likely confirm this when he called in a few hours. She hoped Angel was up by then. She wanted him up with her now, sharing brunch and talking about what they would be doing with the alone time. And to weasel out of him what he planned for Valentine’s day, which was only two days away. He had remained mum on the subject, even after various threats had been levelled. She sighed and plunked her coffee mug loudly on the table, wrapping her robe tighter at the waist before sitting.

 

Angel appeared soon after, hair slightly mussed and sticking askew. He shot Buffy a cautious smile, probably sensing her annoyance but wisely not mentioning it, and kissed her on the crown of her head. “Mornin’.” He moved over to the fridge and pulled out a carton of blood, filled a mug, and warmed it in the microwave.

 

“You sleep ok?” Buffy’s voice contained the slightest tinge of sarcasm, and she winced, knowing he’d catch it.

He watched her for a few moments before answering, seeming unsure of what to say. The beep indicating his breakfast was ready finally prompted him to speak as he moved to take out the mug. “Um…kinda.” He brushed past her legs that had been propped on the table, gently replacing her slippered feet once he had cleared. He pulled a chair closer to her, moving her feet into his lap. “It was weird.” He waved his hand around his head. “Weird dreams, I mean.”

 

Buffy sat up straighter, interested. “Weird how?” A look of concern crossed her face, driving out any vestiges of displeasure. “Like prophetic dreams? Is something coming?”

 

Angel chuckled softly. “No, no. Nothing like that.” Buffy relaxed back and he affectionately rubbed her foot. “Just dreams about the past. Stuff that happened a long time ago.”

 

“Like in the big bad past? That kind of stuff?” Her voice sounded very small. She looked down at her mug. “Do you dream about that kind of stuff often?”

 

Angel shrugged. “Sometimes. But it’s not a big deal. I’ve lived a long time, have lots of stuff floating around up here,” he pointed to his forehead, “sometimes they come out in dreams.” His eyes were faraway for a moment, then he dragged his gaze back over to Buffy. So beautiful, he thought for the millionth time. “What made this weird is that usually if I dream of the past, it’s of the…big things.” He shifted awkwardly and his eyes drifted downwards.

 

Buffy was absently rubbing her ring, but then dropped her hand and took Angel’s in her own. “This wasn’t one of the big things, then?”

 

Angel rubbed the back of her palm with his thumb, thrilling when he saw the shiver pass through her. “Nah…honestly, I would have been hard pressed to even remember this one. Was a little preoccupied with other things at the time. Like surviving.” He yawned, stifling his mouth with a fist.

 

Buffy shifted their hands, getting a tighter grip on his. She pulled his hand towards her lips, lightly kissing each of his knuckles. “Do you want to talk about it?” She fixed hazel orbs onto him, her smile promising more.

 

He gave her a slow smile, brown eyes hooded in anticipation. “Not really. Not much to tell, anyways.” He took her mug from her hands, setting it on the table. He pulled her over into his lap, lips claiming hers. “I’d rather do this.”

 

She indulged him just long enough to make refusal an impossibility, then sprang her trap. Her voice was breathy and seductive. “Or…we could talk about what we are doing for Valentine’s day.”

 

“Uh huh. Whatever.” Angel was caught in the moment, blood apparently flowing in the wrong direction. It took his brain a few moments to catch up. He froze, hand tangled in her hair, face nuzzled in the curve of her neck. “No fair. That’s totally cheating.”

 

Buffy’s giggle was tinkly and light. “You’re the one who’s being all ‘international man of mystery’ about the whole thing, goofball. Of course I’m going to resort to guerilla tactics on this one.”

 

Angel continued to try and distract her, rubbing cool lips along heated flesh, seeking her pulse and finding it quickening. “Points for effort.” He traced kisses along her jaw line, making a slow journey towards waiting lips. “Want to continue this discussion elsewhere?”

 

Buffy found his attentions difficult to ignore and returned his kiss with some heat. “Up for some pillow talk?”

 

That was all the affirmation he needed. In one swift movement in which it seemed he barely moved, Angel swept Buffy into his arms and headed for their apartment. Sometimes having a vampire for a boyfriend rocked.

 

***

 

Koudjo Agbigbi was troubled. He brushed a hand through the intricate vevé he had traced upon the floor the night before, scattering the cornmeal. The mambo that had called yesterday from his famille had been correct. Notorious for bending the rules, the Gavons were at it again. The loa he had invoked the night before confirmed the mambo’s suspicions.

 

Koudjo sighed and stood, wiping his hands off on his pagnè, a brightly colored jack-of-all-trades cloth that both African men and women were known to wear. He poured himself a cup of water, trying to remember what he had learned last night. His met tet, or patron saint, the Ghede Nimbo, was a kind and benevolent loa, but a trickster who often spoke in riddles.

 

He tried the words aloud. “Debts repaid. Dreams of what one wants. Dreams of what one fears. The same dream. Dreams of death and love.”  He rubbed a hand tiredly across his face, his voice sounding hollow in his own ears. What did it mean?

 

He had gotten little sleep since arriving in Westbury in the late afternoon the previous day. The call from the mambo had come from Togo, reversing the charges. Mama Gamé was a powerful vodoun priestess, and Koudjo only had to learn a hard lesson once to pay careful attention to her words. She had told him the Gavons were active again. They were descendants of a very powerful vodoun famille which had been taken from West Africa a few centuries ago in the slave trade to France. Their descendants were many and they could now be found throughout Britain and parts of Europe. Koudjo was aware that Fofo Gavon resided in the area, and like him was a houngan. He was most likely the culprit.

 

What made the Gavons so dangerous is that they didn’t respect the central values of Vodou. Although Hollywood had sensationalized voodoo through lurid tales of black magic and zombies, vodou actually centered around ideas of honor and respect to all people. And above all to family, both earthly and ancestral. The use of vodou for dark purpose was strictly forbidden. A key principle that the Gavons failed to follow.

 

What worried Koudjo the most was that Mama Gamé had said their foolish actions would disable a powerful warrior of light. A warrior whose presence helped to maintain the careful balance between good and evil which allowed this dimension to operate.

 

When he had asked the loa who he was looking for, the answer he had received was ‘walking death’. He had asked if that meant someone ill, and the loa had laughed and laughed. “Walks in death as he did in life, enfant.” Whatever that meant Koudjo couldn’t even begin to guess.  

 

***

 

Buffy smiled and snuggled in closer to Angel, burrowing her head underneath his neck. “Mmmm, that didn’t suck.” Her voice sounded like a purr.

 

Angel laughed and rubbed his hand over her back, lightly tracing the curve of her spine with cool fingertips. “Most decidedly not.”

 

She shifted, putting her chin on his chest, catching his eyes. “So…you want to throw me a bone here and talk about Valentine’s day?”

 

He smiled at her joke, and she laughed out loud, realizing, hiding her face on his skin. He let her stay like for a moment before he started stroking her hair. “I guess I could tell you a little something about my plans.” His eyes were shining with mischief.

 

“Oh, tell, tell!” She sat up on her knees, wrapping the sheet around her. She scooted closer towards him. “Tell me!”

 

Angel reached around her waist and pulled her over so that she was straddling him and she shrieked in delight. He leaned forward and drew her into a kiss. “I want to show you.”

 

“Um, Angel, not that I’m complaining or anything, but don’t we do this sort of stuff all the….” She trailed off, any words truncated by Angel’s ministrations. Something in the way he was moving awakened a fire that spread across her belly. The passion she was feeling for this man at this moment was unparalleled from anything that had come before. Angel could feel it building, too, and with the barest of movement had pinned her underneath him.

 

His tongue was probing the spot where he had marked her before, alternatively laving the spot and pulling at her pulse, willing the blood to the surface. He raised his eyes to hers in a question which she answered with a quick nod, heat ratcheting up to a new level when she felt his fangs enter her. He drank from her, moving over her in slow undulations, sucking and pulling her blood into his mouth.

 

Oh god. The taste. Warm and strong and magic and Buffy. It was like coming home, it was everything. The perfect gift, an eternal kiss. He would make her his forever. She was gasping and groaning beneath him, pulling his hair, willing him forward. He could feel her heart slowing, the flow of blood running to a trickle as he pulled the life out of her body. Once finished, he pulled out and ran fangs over his wrist, placing it over her mouth. She clamped on, slow and tentative at first, then with more and more hunger. He let her drink until it was enough, then gently pushed her away. She tried reaching out for more. So strong. His girl. He laid back and watched her, waiting….

 

OH GOD! Angel flew up, pulling Buffy into his arms, repulsion and terror flooding his body. He said her name over and over, rocking her, tears slipping down his cheeks. What have I done?

 

***

“Come on, Angel, we can’t stay in bed all day.” Buffy was nuzzling her lover, reluctantly trying to force him into wakefulness. “Actually, we can, but you know, girl’s gotta eat sometime.” She looked over towards him, surprised to see his features were bathed in moonlight. They had been asleep longer than she had thought. She reached across him to switch on the lamp, digging her toes in his side in an attempt to rouse him. She stared at him for a long moment, marvelling at his still beauty, how in sleep he looked in death. “Angel…come on.” She butted his arm with her nose.

 

Angel didn’t move, but he was wearing the barest smile on his lips. Buffy thought perhaps he was playing a joke on her. “Hey, buster, this isn’t funny.” She wasn’t trying to hide her frustration. “Fine.” She stood up, yanking the duvet off and onto the floor. “You just lie there all day. Sleeping. See if I care.” She was loudly slamming drawers around, broadcasting how she felt on the matter. Angel still hadn’t moved.

 

Something began buzzing in the back of her brain. Something telling her this was all very wrong. “Angel?” Her voice was soft, penitent. She moved back over to the bed, jostling his shoulder lightly and then with increasing force. Still nothing.

 

Panic was blazing bright through her veins and her heart was thudding loudly against her ribcage. She looked wildly around the room, looking for something, anything, with which to rouse him. If he was faking, there was going to be serious hell to pay. He was faking. He had to be faking. He still wasn’t moving.

 

As a last resort, she opened her bedside drawer, pulling out the small cross he had given her. “I’m sorry,” she whispered as she placed the cross on the back of his hand. His hand recoiled slightly and a short hiss escaped his lips. Although she had pulled it back quickly, a burn mark had already formed, marring his pale skin. He still didn’t move. Ok. This was very, very wrong.

 

***

 

Out on the lawn, as near to the window as he judged to be safe, a small man laughed and laughed, rocking back and forth and slapping his knees with glee. He was dressed in a top hat and black tuxedo, glasses shading his eyes. His skin was so dark it was almost blue in the moonlight. “Oh, Baron, we’s gonna have a good time wid dis’un!” Fofo Gavon was just sure of it.

 

***

Buffy’s panic was up in the full tilt boogey range. She had vowed that she wouldn’t call Giles until it was absolutely necessary. She could figure this out on her own. The cats had already fled the tempest. The library had suffered her wrath, books and papers had been thrown haphazardly around in a way that would she knew would give the former Watcher a serious case of the wiggins, but this was for the greater good.

 

Sleeping sickness? Apparently came from a fly from Africa. Comas were typically induced by severe head trauma. And vampires could hibernate for periods of time when food sources became scarce. Huh. That was a new one. She pitched the book across the room in disgust where it hit the far wall with a crack.

 

“I can do this by myself. I don’t need Giles. If I call him, he’s just going to come back, and this weekend was supposed to be special…Valentine’s day…” It all sounded very silly when she said it out loud. This was about Angel. Without further thought she picked up the phone and dialled Giles.

 

***

In the small adjacent apartment the vampire dreamed on unaware of the drama unfolding around him. The dream was on a continuous loop, each time becoming more intense. The ecstasy of turning her reached levels he thought were almost unbearable, but paled in comparison to the agonizing horror he would experience upon discovering once again what he had done. He was aware he was caught, but he knew that any attempts at fighting would be futile.

 

***

Giles laughed out loud. “No, he’s nothing like a zombie.” His friend’s curiosity as to the nature of Angel never failed to amuse him. As did his obvious infatuation. “Ah, speak of the devil…” Giles retrieved his cell phone from his jacket pocket. “Hello…” His brow scrunched in confusion. “Buffy, slow down, slow down.” Nick had abandoned his pint and moved closer in an obvious gesture of concern.

 

“He won’t wake up. I’ve tried everything. I even tried…I burned him with a cross, Giles. He won’t wake up.”

 

“How long has he been sleeping?”

 

“About 6 hours…”

 

“Buffy, that’s hardly…”

 

“This was after he had slept for like 8 hours before!”

 

His practical mind switched on. “Are you there with him now? Good. Does he have any symbols on him? They could be very small.” He waited while she looked. “No parasites of any kind? No head injury? What did he eat today? Can you look around the room? Are there marks of any kind that were not there before?” Nick raised his eyebrows, but Giles raised a hand to stave off questions.

 

“Wait…there’s something here. Under the bed. It’s a symbol of some kind.’

 

“What does it look like?”

 

“I dunno…kind of like a coffin with a cross over it.”

 

“Coffin and cross? Are you sure?” Something was tugging at his brain, the memory of what this meant. He wished he had his books before him.

 

“Giles?”

 

“I’m thinking…I’m thinking…Wait! Baron Samedi! Of course!”

 

“Baron what-y?”

 

“Samedi. Its French for Saturday. He is a vodou loa, A patron saint of sorts. He is known for trickery and disruption, and he is the loa of death and resurrection.”

 

“Voodoo? As in zombies and human sacrifices voodoo? This can’t be good.”

 

Giles smiled, trying to reassure his Slayer across the wires. “You watch too many movies, Buffy. Vodou is an ancient religion that started in West Africa…”

 

“Giles, can we skip the history lesson and move on to the part where I kill him and Angel wakes up?’

 

“Buffy, you can’t kill him. He’s already dead. An ancestor. Apparently, someone called upon the Baron and asked him to curse Angel somehow. We need to find this person, ask them to call off the loa.”

 

“How am I supposed to do that? Knock on doors, ask if anyone cursed my boyfriend lately?”

 

Giles could hear the frustration in her voice, could see in his mind’s eye that she was pacing around the room, always keeping a watchful eye on the slumbering vampire. “I have a friend in London, he is a houngan, a vodou priest. His number should be in my address book in the library. His name is Koudjo Agbigbi.”

 

“Cujo? The evil dog?”

 

Giles laughed again. “No, Buffy. Many Togolese are named after the day of the week on which they were born. Koudjo means that he was born on Monday. He comes from the famille Ghede Nimbo. Baron Samedi is an incarnation of the Ghede, so he should be able to tell you how to proceed. Would you like me to call him?”

 

“No…I will…how do you spell his name again?”

 

Nick waited to speak until after Giles had completed the call. “Never a dull moment?”

 

Giles smiled, but his friend could see the worry on his face. “Seems that Angel has fallen ill. I fear someone might have placed a spell on him, trapping him in sleep.”

 

“Oh dear. Are you going to go back? Is there anything I could do to help? I am a doctor, after all.”

 

“I’m afraid a doctor won’t have the particular medicine needed here.” He sat back heavily and drained the remains of his pint. “I know Buffy is loathe to ask me back, wants this time alone with Angel…but maybe we should call it a night, just in case I have to leave suddenly. Never a dull moment, indeed.”

 

***

Koudjo was at his wits ends. He didn’t even know what he was looking for. He desperately tried to remember why the name Westbury had sounded so familiar. An old friend, perhaps? He pulled out the small weathered notebook from his back pocket. Rupert Giles! Of course! And if anyone would know of mystical happenings, it would be Rupert.

 

He had found the address without much trouble, and a friendly pub owner had pointed him in the direction of Rupert’s residence. It had been many years since he had seen the Englishman, and he was quite shocked when the door was opened by a diminutive blonde girl.

 

He removed his cap and shifted from foot to foot. “Miss, I am sorry, but I am looking for Rupert Giles.”

 

Buffy eyed the visitor warily. He was short, only a few inches taller than herself, but she could tell he was strong, lean muscles hidden under baggy clothing. His accent was thick, sounded perhaps Caribbean. Decidedly not British. “He’s not in right now.”

 

He was surprised she was American. The girl looked wary and very tired. He offered his right hand to her, bowing his head slightly as was their way. “My name is Koudjo Agbigbi. I am an old friend of Rupert’s. I…”

 

“You’re Koudjo?” Her entire demeanor changed as she pulled him inside, suddenly welcoming and warm. “I tried to call you, but only got an answering machine.” She was leading him rapidly towards an apartment adjacent to the main house. “I’ve been a complete mess, didn’t know where to turn. How did you even know to come? Did Giles call you?”

 

He had to run a few steps to catch up. “No, he didn’t.” She turned towards him, slowing to a stop. “I just knew that something had happened here and thought Rupert would be the best place to begin.”

 

“Something? What something?” The guarded expression was back.

 

“Something to do with the Gavons.” Off of her confused look, he continued. “I am houngan, a vodou priest. I received a call yesterday from a mambo, a priestess, from back home warning that some harm was to come to someone in Westbury. The Gavons are notorious for invoking loas for purposes of mischief. She was afraid they would end up hurting someone. When I invoked the loa last night, her suspicions were confirmed.” He looked hard at her, wondering if he should continue on or wait for Rupert to return. The worry and fear he saw in her eyes spurned him on. “Do you know of anyone who could be described as ‘walking death?”

 

Her eyes widened but she simply nodded and pushed open the door they were standing beside. “He’s in here.”

 

***

The man was dead. Of that, Koudjo could be certain. His chest did not rise and fall in the steady rhythm that indicated life, and his skin held a ghostly pallor only seen on corpses. But he was alive as well. Koudjo could feel the power emanating from him, the magic which had made the impossible possible.

 

The vevé underneath the bed confirmed his hunch. Gavon had invoked the Baron to carry out his prank. Koudjo looked over at Buffy, as he had discovered was her name, and found the girl’s face to be full of concern and compassion. She had love for this creature. “I need to call upon the maker of the vevé. This symbol here. It was made to call upon the loa, to bring him forth. I must respect the rules of our religion. The one who made the vevé  must have a chance to tell me why he did this to your friend before I can call it off.”

 

Buffy nodded and stepped over to the bed, taking Angel’s hand in her own. “How will you find him?”

 

Koudjo smiled. “Oh, I’ll get the Baron to do it for me. Gavon will not be able to resist the call of his loa.” He knelt before the symbol and pulled out a small sachet of red powder and an airplane bottle of rum. He opened the bottle and placed it near the center of the symbol, then sprinkled the powder around the edges. He began to sing: “Papa Ghede bel garçon. Ghede Nimbo bel garçon. Call out to your child, the one who brought you forth. Bring him to this house.”

 

He repeated the song several more times before Buffy became aware that someone else had entered the room. He was small like Koudjo, and yet more squat. He was dressed in a tattered tuxedo and top hat and wearing sunglasses. His smile was broad and spoke of mischief.

 

“Oh, we’s been having a good time here,” his voice was high and nasal. “Such a good time!”

 

Buffy sprang from Angel’s side, pulling Gavon up by the neck. He let out a short squeak. “What did you do to him?’

 

Gavon’s eyes were wide, he hadn’t expected the strength of such a little one. She released her grip slightly so that he could speak. But only slightly. “Oh, he’s not being hurt none. We’s just taking payment on a little debt, is all.”

 

“What debt?” Her voice was hard, her eyes unyielding.

 

“Oh, Angelus owes us a debt.” Buffy dropped him on the floor. He laughed as he stood up, brushing himself off.

 

A shadow passed over her face. “What did he do?”

 

“Oh, he came to the Baron’s party, long times ago. Drank his rum, kicked over his pe and govis. Baron was right mad. Blamed the houngan, he did. Houngan was my kin. Placed boils over his face!” He shook his head and chuckled.

 

“Wait…are you telling me that you’ve held a hundred year old grudge against Angel because he drank some rum and your great-great-third-cousin-once-removed got a rash?” Her eyes blazed with fury.

 

“It took the better part of a week to clear, it did!” He was stepping back away from the girl, hands up in supplication. “We ain’t hurting him none.”

 

Koudjo chose this moment to speak. “This is a being of great power. He is a warrior of light. Your actions have removed him from the fight of good.”

 

“He’s amabue! And we ain’t hurting him none!”

 

Amabue. So, Koudjo had been right. Vampire. Generally thought to be creatures of evil, but he could feel the soul on him. But if that were true all of this was impossible. The Baron would never speak to this one.  Unless… “Is he a father?”

 

“What?” Buffy looked at him in surprise.

 

Koudjo spread his hands wide and attempted to explain. “If Angel truly is amabue, the Baron would not be able to talk to him, affect him. The Ghede only speaks to those who have children.”

 

Buffy’s eyes glimmered with tears. “Yes. He has a son.”

 

Gavon chuckled. “Whys we had to wait so long. Wait for him to have a child.”

 

Buffy’s anger was back, and she grabbed Gavon’s shirtfront, slamming him into the wall behind them. “Wake him up. Now.”

 

Koudjo sighed, and gestured for Buffy to put the other man down. “He can’t help you. I need to invoke Ghede Nimbo to come and put this right. Baron’s probably somewhere laughing away. He is not cruel, but he loves a good joke. The Ghede can make this right.” 

 

***

Buffy had smeared the white powder across Angel’s forehead and cheeks, and drew a wide stripe across his chest just as Koudjo had instructed. She had found a pair of white pajama bottoms and used them to cover Angel’s lower extremities, preparing him in the traditional color of vodou ceremonies.

 

Gavon was seated at the far side of the room, cross-legged, gaping at them like a petulant child.

 

Koudjo had changed to his black and white robes that symbolized the Ghede. He looked down at Buffy, indicating she move away. He explained that once the loa entered him, he would be gone. The loa would only speak to Angel. She nodded in understanding and moved to the far wall.

 

He brought out more rum and placed it on the floor on the vevé, adding a few cigarettes and coins inside. He handed a small drum made of stretched goatskin to Gavon, who began beating it in a rhythm that almost sounded like speech. Koudjo began dancing, stamping his foot in time with the drum beats, jumping and rolling his shoulders back. He was singing something that reminded Buffy of Native American chants, and the chant was peppered with shrieking as the drums built to a crescendo. After a loud shout, he stopped suddenly, as did the drums. All was quiet for the better part of a minute.

 

When he looked up again, Buffy knew for sure that Koudjo was gone. His deportment had completely changed. Koudjo projected an air of calm and quiet. The man standing here now was cocky and sure, swaggering over to where the vampire lay. He clucked his tongue at Angel and rubbed his hands together. “Yo, there. Samedi’s done pulled a trick on you boy.” He blew on his index fingers and laid them over Angel’s eyes. “Yous better wake up. The world’s awaitin.”

 

Buffy let out a breath she didn’t even know she was holding when she saw Angel begin to stir. “Angel?” She ran over to his bedside. His eyes were open but he wasn’t looking at her. He was looking at the Ghede.

 

“Can’t hear ya, child. He’s in with the loa, just now.” Buffy threw an annoyed glance in Gavon’s direction, but stepped back all the same.

 

Her heart leapt as she saw Angel rise and stand in front of the loa. He stretched a bit, trying to restore full range of motion in his long limbs.

 

“You’s a biggun, then.” The Ghede peered up at him. “So, what did you dream about? Did you have some fun in there?”

 

Buffy was sure she saw something flicker through Angel’s eyes before he answered. “No.”

 

“No?” The Ghede laughed. “Oh come now, the Baron wouldn’t make the dreams all bad, now would he?”

 

Angel avoided the question with another. “The Baron?”

 

“Baron Samedi. Seems you swiped his rum awhiles back. He was right mad.”

 

Angel ran a hand over his face and shook his head in disbelief. “That’s what the dream was about….” The Ghede tilted his head to the side, appraising the vampire. “So you got me out of this?” He received a nod in response. “Thank you. How can I repay you. Make things right?”

 

The Ghede offered him a wide smile. “Wouldn’t say no to a bottle of rum. Would make things right with Samedi too. What’s a little rum between family?”

 

Angel smiled and relaxed, offering a hand. “Consider it done.”

 

The smaller man seemed to collapse down as if releasing something. And with that, the Ghede was gone, leaving Koudjo in his stead.

 

Buffy took a tentative step forward. “Angel?”

 

He whirled around, suddenly realizing she was in the room. She rushed to his side, wrapping her arms around his waist tightly. “Buffy….”

 

“Are you ok? Did it hurt? What did you dream about? Did you know that I was there?” He smiled at her endless barrage of questions, and submissively allowed her to give him a cursory medical exam.

 

Angel smiled, casting a long look at Koudjo over her head. “Everything is alright now.”

 

***

After she had certified that he was ok, they escorted their guests out, but not before giving profuse thanks to Koudjo and pledging to have Giles contact him. Angel also promised to send along the finest bottle of rum that could be found in Westbury.

 

When they were finally alone, Angel pulled Buffy into a tight embrace.

 

“Are you sure you’re ok?” He nodded in response, as he did the other 40 times she had asked. She slid her hands into his and took a step back so she could get a better look at him. “What did you dream about?”

 

Angel was quiet for a long minute, eyes far away before finally dragging up his gaze to meet hers. “It doesn’t matter. It is something that will never happen.” When she opened her mouth to protest, he silenced her with a kiss.

 

She pulled back from him. “Now wait a minute! You know…that thing we do? Talking? Not keeping secrets. I like that thing.”

 

He sighed and pulled her close again, nestling above her head. When he spoke he sounded distant, his voice a murmur. “It wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare. I dreamed that I turned you. Over and over. I would wake up and realize what I’d done just to do it again.” He shivered and she ran a soothing hand across his back.

 

She looked into his eyes, finding them haunted and scared. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. That would never happen. I know it wouldn’t, Angel.”

 

He blinked several times before nodding at her. “I know. It won’t.” He bent down pulled her towards his chest, craning his neck so that it rested on her shoulder. She knew the gesture was  more to assure himself than for her. She allowed him to hold her tightly for a lingering moment before pulling back and looking up at him again.

 

***

Buffy had run the last couple of steps towards the house, her restlessness and curiosity getting the better of her. She had promised Angel she would stay away so he could set up his gift, just as she had promised to let him go shopping on his own the previous evening. Why was he being so mysterious about everything?

 

The answer assaulted her when she opened the door. The smells emanating from the kitchen were heavenly, and as she entered she saw that Angel had prepared a feast of her very favorite foods in the whole world. Lasagna, calamata olives from Spain, Rosemary-olive oil bread, wine. And the coupe de grace: cookie dough mint fudge chip ice cream.

 

“How’d you know about this?” She held up a sticky green spoonful. “I thought your vampy tastebuds weren’t too discerning.”

 

“Lucky guess.” He grinned at her. “You like?”

 

She hopped into his lap. “I love. You want?” She held her spoon to his mouth but he turned away.

 

“Nah, don’t want to waste it.”

 

She finished what was left on the spoon and turned her attentions back towards Angel, raking her fingernails over his chest. “Hey…I know you’ve been spending a lot of time in bed lately, but…”

 

They were up in their room before she could have even finished the sentence. Yep, sometimes having a vampire for a boyfriend rocked.

 

***

Angel watched Buffy in sleep. Noticed how the moonlight played across her small features. Noticed the curve of her back. Noticed how she was turned towards him, neck exposed, in a gesture of total and complete trust. He took in a shaky unneeded breath, steadying himself, dragging his gaze away from where he had left his mark so long ago. There was nothing to see now, but he knew where it had been all the same.

 

The dreams the Baron had sent had been a not so gentle reminder that although his soul was safe, the beast was still inside, waiting and at the ready. Because as nightmarish as the dreams had been, a large part of him had enjoyed them as well.

 

When sleep finally claimed him, the vampire slumbered dreamlessly.

 

--The End--

 

Author’s notes:

 

This is my very first fic for PP—would love any and all feedback! Thanks for reading!

A great big akpé kaka (thank you very much) to DS, Jo and Ares for their wonderful beta-ing.

 

Vodou vocab:

 

  • Loa: Patron saints who serve man. The vodou pantheon is quite large, and every loa has different characteristics including sacred numbers, colors, speech mannerisms and dress. Groups of vodoun (follows of vodou) are grouped by their famille (family) of loa.

 

  • Ghede: The most benevolent of the loa of the dead, powerful in healing and as a protector of children. It is often thought the Ghede will only speak to those who have children themselves.

 

  • Baron Samedi: An incarnation of Ghede. Usually dresses in a tuxedo and top hat with dark glasses, as if in death. He is noted for disruption, obscenity, debauchery and having a particular fondness for rum. He is the god of sexuality, death and rebirth.

 

  • Vevé: Symbolic design, formed on the ground by sprinkling wheatmeal or cornmeal, representing the loa to be invoked. The vevé for Baron Samedi/Ghede Nimbo is a coffin with a cross superimposed on top.

 

  • Houngan: Fully initiated priest of vodoun.

 

  • Mambo: Fully initiated priestess of vodoun.

 

  • Pe: Altar stone used in ceremonies.

 

  • Govis: Small jars believed to contain the spirits of the ancestors.

 

 

http://www.folkart.com/voodooshop/glossary.htm

 

 

Ewé is spoken in southern Togo as well as parts of Ghana and Benin (which is where vodou originated). In Ewé, Koudjo does mean boy born on Monday, just like Adjovi means girl born on Monday.

 

I totally made up the word amabue, as I don’t know how to say vampire in Ewé.

 

For further reading on vodou, these sites are very helpful:

http://www.themystica.com/mystica.articles/v/vodoun_also_voodoo.html

http://www.religioustolerance.org.voodoo.htm

http://www.wiccanweb.ca/wiki/index.php/Vodun

http://www.rootsandrooted.org/nimbo.htm

 

 

 



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