Demons and Angels

Part Three

Written by Donald E. Fleming II

Story concept by Donald E. Fleming II

Disclaimer: Original Gargoyles characters are the property of Disney and Buena Vistas Studios. Angel and other related characters are the property of Warner Bros. Other Gargoyle characters are the property of The Gargoyle Saga (TGS) writing staff. All characters are being used without permission of their creators.

Note: This story begins at approximately the same time as Part One of "A Sunnydale Werewolf in Manhattan" and concludes shortly after the start of Part Two, for those continuity freaks out there.

Previously...

"There's nothing you can do for her, Angel. She's dead. Fang murdered her."

"Yeah, I know," Angel said as he gently placed Dominique's body onto the bed. "She hates it when that happens."

"What…" Kate started, but then her ears caught the sound of a moan. Her eyes went wide as she saw movement on the bed.

"Wait a minute," she said, stunned. "That's not possible. She was dead a minute ago."

"Yeah, well, that was a minute ago," Angel said. "She should be okay now."

"Who…what is she?" Kate asked.

"You said you need info on a couple of individuals. Who's the other one?"

Kate paused, looking at the photo. "A woman. Redhead, about 35 years old. Seems she may have a prior history with Fang."

"What's her name?" Matt asked.

"Dominique Destine," she said.

There was a long pause, and Kate wondered if Matt was still listening to her. She could swear she heard him talking to someone else. "Matt, are you still there?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'm here," he said. "Listen, are you sure about this? I'm not saying that it's not her, but..."

"Matt, is something wrong?" she asked. "Is there something I should know?"

"Well," she heard him start hesitantly. Oh, please, she thought. Don't tell me the two of you are involved... "Ms. Destine is kind of a...unique...individual," she heard him say finally.

Kate quickly looked around, making sure no one else was in earshot. "I kind of figured that out for myself," she said.

"Looks like she's still keeping things from you," Cordelia said as she handed the card to Angel. The vampire took it and his face went dark as he read it.

"What is it?" Wesley asked.

"Demona's working with Wolfram and Hart," Angel said.

"I'm assigning you to handle a few legal matters," he said. "Anton is here on behalf of a patient who is in need of a few 'specialized' services."

"I see," she said. "And his patient's name is..."

"Alexander Thailog," Holland said.

"Henderson, I need you to go over that place again. She's got to be somewhere in the area. After all, it's not as if she..." She paused as the thought struck her.

"Detective?" Henderson asked as he waited for her to continue.

"Yeah," she said quickly. "Listen, I'll be over there in a little while. There's something I need to check on first." She hung up the phone. She considered calling Matt Bluestone a second time, but shoved that thought aside. There was something he didn't want to tell me about Dominique Destine, she thought. And she and Angel have a history together. Could it be that what she's hiding is the fact that she's not entirely human?

"I need to take off for a few days," Matt said.

"Why?" Maria asked.

"I got a call from an old friend out in Los Angeles," Matt said. "She needs a little help on a case she's working on."

"She's a cop?" Maria asked.

"Yeah," Matt said. "Her name is Kate Lockley. She's a detective with the LAPD."

"Her own people can't help her?" she asked.

"She said that the case is a little bizarre," Matt said.

"Bizarre in what way?" Maria asked.

"I know exactly who she is," Kate said. "Or maybe I should say who she's pretending to be. A creature who pretends to be human so she can prey on unsuspecting innocents, just like you, Angel." She turned her attention back to Demona and raised the gun, pointing it straight at her. "Am I right, Ms. Destine?"

Demons and Angels Part Two

June 19, 2000

Los Angeles, California

Angel Investigations

"What did you just call me?" Demona asked.

"You heard me," Kate said.

Demona turned her attention back to Angel. "I think your friend had better explain herself, Angelus," she said, trying to hide her nervousness.

"Really," Kate said. She pulled back the hammer on the automatic she was holding. "Tell me that if I shoot you right here and now, you won't get up again in a few minutes."

"Kate..." Angel started, but then Kate shot a furious glare at him.

"No, Angel," she snapped. "I'm sick and tired of these freaks running around in my city! First I find out that you're a vampire, and then my father gets killed by one! And now I have to deal with Mutates and demons! I'm sick of it!"

"I am not a demon," Demona said.

Kate looked at her. "Really," she said sarcastically. "Then what are you?"

"I'm a gargoyle," Demona said.

"And I'm supposed to think that makes all the difference in the world," Kate said.

"Yes," Wesley said. He took a book from the shelf and cautiously approached the detective. "I'm certain you've heard what's been going on in New York," he said. "About there being living gargoyles residing there."

"Yeah," she admitted. "And I've heard they've been causing nothing but trouble ever since they were discovered."

"And you got this information from..." Demona challenged.

Kate hesitated for a moment. She had to admit that the info she did have came from less-than-reliable sources, mostly from people who had sympathized with the Quarrymen's cause. And she had despised the Quarrymen, not just because of their views, but for their actions. She would never have tolerated them in Los Angeles.

Wesley picked up on her hesitation and opened the book. "Whatever you may have heard recently," he said. "Most of it is false, perpetrated by those who would like nothing more than to wipe the gargoyles off the face of the earth, simply because they're different." He set the book on the desk. "This shows a more accurate picture of who and what gargoyles truly are."

Kate looked at the book, noting that Wesley had opened it to a section on gargoyles. She read what was there for a brief second before finally holstering her gun and picking up the book to read it more carefully. After a few minutes, she looked back up at Demona. "I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't know..."

"It's all right, detective," Demona said. "Many humans view us as monsters and demons without thinking that maybe we're not all that bad."

"But that still doesn't change the fact..."

"That I'm human during the day?" Demona said, finally admitting to what Kate already suspected. Kate nodded her head. "I use sorcery to hold off the stone sleep," she said, half-lying. "Do not forget that I am immortal, detective. I am also an accomplished sorceress. And over the thousand years I have been alive, I've amassed a considerable fortune, so I found it necessary to create a human persona to help me manage it in today's world. I use an illusion to appear human during the day." She smiled at Kate. "Who would have thought it would lead to a multi-billion dollar corporation?"

"And what about the real Dominique Destine?" Kate asked. "What happened to her?"

"What?" Demona asked. "You thought I murdered an innocent human in order to steal her identity?"

"The thought had crossed my mind," Kate said. "It's not like identity theft is something new."

"Well, I didn't," Demona said. "I...couldn't. Gargoyles protect. We don't go around killing innocent humans." She paused, grimacing inwardly at the lie, and how hollow it sounded in her ears. Most of us don't, at least, she thought to herself. "The name was given to me centuries ago by a dear friend of mine named Michel. In case you're wondering by the way, it means 'Divine Destiny'."

"I will be checking out your story, Ms. Destine," Kate said. "I hope you realize that."

"I'd be surprised if you didn't, detective," Demona said.

"Listen, Kate," Angel said. "De...Ms. Destine and I have a lot of things to discuss. We'd appreciate it if you could give us some privacy."

"I'm sure you would," Kate said. "But, Angel..."

"Don't make me have to throw you out, detective," Demona said dangerously. "What Angel and I have to discuss does not concern you."

"Listen..." Kate started.

"Kate, we've had this discussion before, remember?" Angel said. "You're not going to win this argument, not against her."

"Fine," Kate said. Then she looked at Demona. "But I want you to know that I'm going to be keeping an eye on you. And I swear that if I catch you stepping out of line just once..."

"You'll lock me up and throw away the key?" Demona said.

"You got it," Kate said. "And since you're immortal, I'll make sure that it's for a very long time." She turned and headed for the door.

After Kate was gone, Cordelia looked at Angel. "Well, that was intense," she said.

"No more than usual," Angel said. "Although," he added as he considered Demona. "For a minute there, I was afraid you might..."

"Murder a cop?" Demona said. "At one time, perhaps. But not anymore. As I told you before, a cop saved my daughter's life more than once. And I've come to realize that trying to kill them is more trouble than it's worth." For a moment, her mind flashed back to the times she had tried to take Elisa's life, then she shoved the memories aside. If I had actually succeeded in killing her, I would never have met Angela, she thought. And she would have died at the hands of the Hunters, instead of being saved by her... She turned her attention back to Angel. "I believe we were discussing a possible lead on where to start looking for Thailog before we were interrupted," she said.

"Right," Angel said. He looked at the address Cordelia had written down before handing it to Demona. "Do you want to go with me?" he asked. "Or do you want to..."

"I shall meet you there tomorrow night," Demona said. "There's something else that needs my immediate attention, and unfortunately, it may take most of the day just to get the information. I shall see you then." She turned and left the office.

"I wonder what it is that needs her attention?" Wesley asked.

"Well, considering she's the head of one of the biggest companies in the country," Cordelia said. "My guess is she wants to grab the earliest edition of the Wall Street Journal as soon as it hits the newsstands."

"At this time of the night?" Wesley asked.

"It's almost four in the morning," Cordelia said.

"Is it really?" he asked. He looked at the window. "My word, we've been at this all night."

"Goes with the job," Angel said. "And somehow, I don't think Demona's too concerned about the stock market at this time of the day. She's probably heading back to the Nightstone Plaza to figure out just what it was Fang took off with the other night. I get the feeling her employees weren't giving her as much help as she would have liked."

Nightstone Unlimited

Manhattan

The phone rang on Candice's desk. She immediately picked it up and answered cheerfully. "Nightstone Unlimited, Ms. Destine's office. May I help you?"

"Candice, this is Ms. Destine," came the reply on the other end.

Candice's eyes went wide. "Ms. Destine, it's so good to hear from you. How is Los Angeles?"

"Fine, as always," the CEO replied. "I need you to take care of something for me."

"Of course," she said.

"I'm sending you a fax with a list of names," Dominique said. "I need you to find the personnel files on these people and send them to me as quickly as possible."

Candice looked over as the fax machine printed out the list Dominique was sending her. She looked at it with a hint of confusion. "Aren't their files out there?" she asked.

"I would not be asking for them if they were," Dominique said.

Candice looked over the list. "I'll get right on it as soon as possible," she said.

"Good," Dominique said. "And Candice, be discrete. There's something about what's going on out here that doesn't feel right. I don't want the board to get wind of this."

"Gotcha," Candice said. She hung up the phone as soon as she heard Dominique sever the connection, then looked at the list a second time. She thought about calling Personnel directly, but quickly set it aside. Discrete, she said, she thought. I can do discrete. Folding up the list, she put it in her bag and headed for the elevator.

Nightstone Office Plaza

Los Angeles

Dominique set aside the phone as she looked at the list of department heads who were involved in whatever it was that had been going on in the Research Department on the Twelfth Floor. You people are keeping something from me, she thought angrily. But whatever it is, you will tell me, even if I have to flay you one at a time. She got up from the desk and headed for the hidden wardrobe she had installed in her office, dropping the illusion she had been wearing since her arrival before sunrise. "Let's see," she said as she took off her usual nighttime wear. "What would be suitable for a flaying?"

An undisclosed location

Downtown Los Angeles

Lilah watched as Dr. Anton Sevarius inspected the lab.

"I hope it's to your liking," she said. She had gotten a call from Holland Manners a few hours ago, telling her that he wanted her to make arrangements for Anton to have access to a lab. Wolfram and Hart had interest in a few across town, and she had picked the one closest to where the mysterious Alexander Thailog was recovering from his injuries.

"This will be perfect," Anton said. "Better than I could have hoped for actually." He turned to the woman. "You do know that I have worked in the finest labs in the country," he said.

"I know," Lilah said. "Cyberbiotics, Gen-U-Tech, Nightstone Unlimited..."

"All with extraordinary facilities," he said. "I was given almost complete and total 'carte blanche' at each one as well. Will I be..."

"I've been instructed to give you whatever assistance you need," Lilah said.

"Really?" Anton said. "Good. Because there is something I need from you right now, Ms. Morgan."

"What's that?" Lilah asked.

"Your body."

Lilah stepped back in surprise. "What?" she gasped.

Anton smiled at her. "You must forgive me," he laughed. "I've been waiting for an opportunity to say that." He extended a hand to her. "I did not mean that in the literal sense, my dear," he said. "What I really need from you is a sample of your DNA."

Lilah calmed a bit, but not by much. "Why?" she felt compelled to ask. "What do you need it for?"

"That, Ms. Morgan," she heard Holland Manners say as he entered the lab. "Is something you needn't concern yourself about. Just provide him with a blood sample for now."

Lilah took off her jacket, then rolled up the sleeve of her blouse. Anton picked up a hypodermic needle and an alcohol swab. While the doctor drew a sample of Lilah's blood, Holland turned his attention back to Anton.

"So, are the facilities to your satisfaction?" he asked.

"As I told Ms. Morgan," Anton said as he finished drawing the blood. "Better than I could have hoped for. Were you able to build the equipment to my specifications?"

"Right this way, Anton," Holland said. Holland led the doctor and Lilah through a far door and into another lab. Along one wall of the adjoining lab were three large cylinders, all empty.

"What are those?" Lilah asked.

"Cloning chambers," Anton said.

Lilah's eyes went wide. "Cloning..." she started. "Is that why you need a sample of my DNA? To clone me?"

"Somewhat, my dear," Anton said, smiling

"Don't worry, Lilah." Holland said. "There is no plan to replace you simply because of a few errors. You work for Wolfram and Hart, not the Dominion."

Lilah gave him a puzzled look. "I don't..."

Sevarius looked at Holland. "I guess you don't watch too much 'Star Trek', do you?" he said to Lilah.

"No," she admitted.

"It doesn't matter," Sevarius said. He held up the sample of Lilah's blood. "This will suffice for now," he said. He went over to a lab counter and set the test tube of blood in a holder.

"So when do we get to meet Mr. Thailog?" she asked.

"Lilah..." Holland said dangerously.

"No, that's all right, Holland," Anton said, then turned his attention back to Lilah. "The truth is Mr. Thailog is a bit of a...'night' person." He looked at his watch. "He'll be up and around in about twelve hours. Then you can meet him."

"I look forward to it," she said.

"Lilah," Holland said. "Why don't you go wait for me outside? I have some things to discuss with Anton."

"Of course," she said. She turned and left.

"I don't think it would be such a good idea for her to meet our 'esteemed' client," Holland said.

"Nonsense," Anton said. "I think Thailog would be most impressed with Ms. Morgan." He picked up the test tube containing Lilah's blood. "Especially if her DNA is as promising as I believe it is."

"You intend to go forward with your idea?" he asked.

"Of course," Anton said. "Thailog has been without a suitable mate for quite some time." He smiled at Holland. "And Ms. Morgan's DNA could be just what the doctor ordered."

June 20, 2000

Los Angeles Police Department

Detective Kate Lockley walked across the room, heading for her desk. She paused as a uniformed sergeant caught her attention.

"You got a visitor, detective," he said.

"Thanks, Henderson," she said. She looked towards the windows, making sure that the one by her desk was opened. The shades were drawn, she noted as she saw the sunlight spilling across her desk. So it couldn't be Angel. Could it be one of his partners, or...

She saw a shock of red hair, but it was too short to be Dominique Destine's. Who do I know with hair that red? She headed for her desk. "Can I help..." she started.

"Hello, Kate," Matt Bluestone said as he turned towards the sound of her voice.

"Matt?" Kate said, shocked. "Hi. I wasn't expecting..."

"Took some time off," Matt said, standing up. "Decided to take it here."

Kate frowned at him. "I thought you swore off Los Angeles after what happened."

"Don't remind me," Matt said. He picked up the file that was sitting on her desk. "Here's the info you wanted."

Kate took the file from his hand and opened it. "This is everything?" she asked him.

"Just about," Matt said.

Kate sat down and thumbed through the file. "Are you sure?" she asked. "Seems to me that there's something missing."

"Like..."

"Like something about Ms. Destine being a..." She paused as she looked around, making sure there was no one within earshot. "Blue-skinned, red-haired gargoyle at night?"

Matt looked at her in shock. "How..." he asked. "I mean, why would you think..."

Kate looked up at him. "So you knew about it all the time."

Matt swallowed hard, knowing that Kate had somehow discovered the cover-up concerning Demona's daytime identity. "Are you going to tell me how you found out about Demona's little secret?"

Kate eyes narrowed. "I thought her name was Dominique Destine," she said.

Matt groaned inwardly. Oops, he thought. "She...goes by the name Dominique Destine when..." He paused, looking at her. How much does she know? he wondered.

"When she's passing herself off as human?" Kate asked pointedly.

"Yeah," Matt admitted. "Look, Kate," he said. "Is there someplace we can talk in private?"

"Sure," she said. She stood up and headed across the room, taking the file with her.

Matt followed her to one of the interrogation rooms. She paused by the door and followed him in, then closed the door.

"All right, Matt," she said, crossing her arms. "Spill it. What's the deal with Ms. Destine? Or Demona? Or whatever it is she's calling herself?"

"What have you heard?" he asked.

"It's not a matter of what I've heard, Matt," she said. "But what I was able to figure out. A few days ago, Fang tried to murder her, but she managed to 'survive' something that would have killed just about anyone else. Then she manages to disappear mysteriously out of her hotel room just after sunset without the cops who were guarding her noticing it. So I figured that if she could do that, that she had to be something other than 'human'."

"And the part where you figured out she was a gargoyle?" Matt asked.

"She told me that herself," Kate said. "After I found her a few hours later at Angel's."

"Angel?" Matt asked. "I think you mentioned that name to me before. Who is he?"

Kate sighed, knowing that she was going to have to tell him. "Angel is...a vampire," she said finally. "He's been a problem ever since he showed up in Los Angeles a few months ago."

"A vampire, huh," Matt said. "That's a new one."

"I'm not crazy, Matt," she said.

"I didn't imply that you were," Matt responded. "I'm the one in charge of a unit called the Gargoyle Task Force, remember? And you know what I was like while I was still with the Bureau."

"Yeah," she said, remembering her first encounter with Matt Bluestone nearly seven years before. Matt had been assigned to investigate a local mob boss named Rudolf Rorshenko, and Kate was his liaison to the LAPD. But during the investigation, he became convinced that Rorshenko had ties to something he called the Illuminati Society. He began pursuing leads that he believed would put him one step closer to uncovering them, but then Rorshenko was gunned down by a mysterious assailant outside a restaurant just as a warrant was being drawn up for his arrest. The gunman was never caught, and Matt was blamed for not keeping a closer eye on the mob boss. He left Los Angeles, vowing never to come back, and Kate was sorry to see him go. She had thought that, given a chance, their professional relationship could have evolved into something deeper...

"Kate, listen," Matt said. "I'll give you whatever help I can, but I honestly think that this is something you should steer clear of." He paused for a second. "For your own sake."

"You know I can't, Matt," she said. "These freak jobs are running around in my city, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let them turn this into their own private little Twilight Zone!"

Matt sighed heavily. "I thought you'd say that," he said. He slowly approached her and cautiously placed his hands on her shoulders. "Could you at least back off a little until I can figure out what's really going on?" he asked. When she looked up at him in aggravation, he quickly continued. "I promise I'll keep you informed about what I find out."

Kate remained silent for a long time, and Matt was afraid she'd tell him to go take a flying leap, but then she sighed. "I'll have to think about it," she said finally. "But I want to know why first."

Matt let his arms drop from her shoulders. "Because I get the feeling that there's more going on here than you can possibly know about. And I don't want you getting caught in the crossfire if what I suspect is going on turns out to be on the money."

Angel Investigations

Several hours later...

Cordelia looked up as she heard the door open. When she caught sight of the redheaded male in the trenchcoat enter the office, she immediately smiled and went into her routine.

"Hello," she said cheerfully. "Welcome to Angel Investigations. How can we be of service?"

"I'd like to talk to your boss," he said.

"Well, he's kind of busy right at the moment," she said, which wasn't entirely true. Angel was downstairs, asleep after pursuing leads on Thailog most of the night. "If you'd like to leave your name and phone number..."

"He's not much of a day person, is he?" the redhead asked, looking at the drawn shades.

Cordelia frowned at him. "Who are you?" she asked.

"Matt Bluestone," he said. He pulled out his detective's badge and showed it to the young actress/secretary.

"NYPD?" Cordelia asked. "Kinda out of your jurisdiction, aren't ya?"

"I'm here to help out a friend," he said. "Detective Lockley. I think you know her."

"In a way," Cordelia said. "And you want to talk to Angel why?"

"Just a little curious," Matt admitted. "I've never met a real live vampire before."

Cordelia almost dropped the pen in her hand. "How did you...I mean...what makes you think..."

"Kate told me all about him," Matt said.

"You know, she has been kind of stressed out lately..." Cordelia started, but then she was interrupted by the sound of the door to Angel's office opening.

"Who's this?" Angel asked.

"Detective Bluestone," Matt said as he showed the vampire his badge. "NYPD."

"You're a long way from home, detective," Angel said.

"Well, as the head of the Gargoyle Task Force," he said. "I thought I'd better investigate a recent sighting out here."

Cordelia's eyes went wide. "Gargoyle...Task Force?" she gasped.

"You're here about Demona," Angel said.

"Her, and Fang," Matt said. "Kate told me he's been sighted out here."

"You know Kate Lockley?" Angel asked.

"We have a history," Matt said. "We worked together on a case a few years ago while I was still with the Bureau." He looked at Angel. "Kate told me you've been a bit of a problem for her ever since you arrived in town. Care to tell me what that's all about?"

"Kate…blames me for the death of her father," Angel said. "He was…on the take, and he…" He stopped when he saw the frown on Matt's face. "Did you know Kate's father?" he asked.

"I met him a couple of times while I was here on the Rorshenko case," Matt said. "He and I didn't get off on the right foot, but I find it hard to believe that he would be on the take." He paused for a second. "What was he involved in?"

"It's a long story," Angel said. "How much do you know about demon physiology?"

"Never mind," Matt said. "I had my fill of the Fae and demons and God knows what else over the past few years."

"That seems to be the only thing…" Cordelia started, but then she caught the frown on Matt's face.

"So you're here about Demona," Angel said. "Anything in particular you want to know?"

"I'd like to know why she's here in Los Angeles," Matt said. "I'm assuming there's more to it than the fact that Nightstone just opened a new office out here."

"You know about her connection to Nightstone?" Cordelia asked.

"I know that as Dominique Destine, she happens to be one of the richest women in the world," Matt said.

"I'm surprised that she'd let you walk around alive with a secret like that," Cordelia said. "Especially considering what you do."

"I think I'm pretty safe for the time being," Matt said. "If Demona wanted to do me in to keep her secret safe, she would have done it a long time ago. Besides, I'm not the only one who knows."

"Who else knows?" Angel asked.

"My partner, for one," he said. "Elisa Maza. I think she was the first person who ever saw Demona's change from a human to a gargoyle."

Angel and Cordelia shared a look as they recognized the name. Matt caught the silent exchange between the two. "You know about her?"

"Demona told us about her," Angel said. "She told us your partner saved her daughter's life."

"More than once," Matt said. He paused as he looked at the vampire. "But I'm not here about that. I'm here to figure out what Demona's up to."

Angel paused for a moment. "You know about Demona's past, right?" he asked. When Matt nodded, he continued. "What do you know about her ex-business partner?"

"Thailog's here?" Matt asked.

"It looks like it," Angel said.

Matt sighed. "Then we have a real problem on our hands," he said.

June 21, 2000

Nightstone Office Plaza

Los Angeles

Dominique watched as the head of the research department sitting across from her squirmed in his seat. She shifted her gaze to the report she had in front of her. A report she'd had to force the Research Department to surrender to her.

"I am very disappointed in you, Mr. Holt," she said, tossing the report on her desk. "You knew these projects were supposed to clear my desk before any funding for them could be approved. And yet you saw fit to try to hide them in project proposals that had already been cleared, hoping that the additional funding would be overlooked as cost overruns."

"Ms. Destine…" he started, but Dominique stopped him.

"Save it," she said. "You can consider yourself terminated as of this moment. And consider yourself lucky that your employment is the only thing I am terminating."

Holt gulped soundly, knowing what she was hinting at, then got up slowly to leave. As he reached the doors to the office, he was greeted by a pair of security guards.

"See to it that Mr. Holt is escorted out of the building," she said. When he turned to protest, she continued. "I will see to it that someone gathers your belongings and delivers them to your home. That way, I can ensure that you do not try to leave with anything 'sensitive'."

She waited until the security guards escorted Holt out of her office, then got up to look out the window. That takes care of one problem, she thought. But not the entire problem. I still have Thailog to deal with. Hopefully, Angel will have come up with some useful information. She picked up the report and placed it in her briefcase. As for this, I will deal with this after I get back to Manhattan. She closed the briefcase and headed for the door to her office.

"Heading out for lunch?" she heard a voice say. She turned and caught sight of Fang standing on the ledge outside her window.

"You again!" she snarled, her eyes taking on an angry red glow as she glared at the Mutate.

"Ohh, talk about bloodshot!" he quipped. "You know, a few drops of Visine will clear that right up."

Dominique looked around the office, looking for something lethal, but all she had was her briefcase, and she couldn't very well throw that at him. "What the hell do you want this time, Fang?"

"We got unfinished business, Red," he said. "Boss still wants to see you, and he ain't takin' 'No' for an answer again."

"You can tell Thailog…" she started, but then Fang pulled out a small gun.

"I'm afraid I'm gonna have to insist this time," he said.

"And what are you going to do if I refuse?" she said, crossing her arms across her chest. "Are you going to shoot me? Fire that gun and ten security guards will be in here before I even hit the floor."

Fang looked at the gun in his hand. "I'll just have to risk it," he said. He aimed and fired.

Dominique was surprised by his actions, hoping that she could bluff him, but what really surprised her was the dart that came out of the barrel of the gun. It hit her in the neck, and she jumped back in surprise. Her hand flew to her neck and she pulled the dart from her skin, even as her vision began to swim.

"A tranquilizer dart?" she said in surprise. "You think…" She stopped as she felt her knees go weak. "You think that…drugging me…will keep me…"

"Yeah, yeah. I know," he said. "The immortality thing. So what makes you think the doc didn't cook up something a little more 'potent'?"

Dominique's eyes went wide in shock as she sank to her knees. "Poison?"

"Just a little cyanide, mixed in with a few other toxins," Fang said. "Just enough to keep you out for a while." He waited until Dominique sagged lifelessly to the floor, then picked up the woman's corpse and turned towards the window. He paused for a moment, then reached down and picked up Dominique's briefcase, knowing that Thailog will want to see what she had inside.

Matt walked into the Nightstone Office Plaza, pausing for a moment as he watched someone being escorted out by two security officers, then headed for the security desk.

"I'd like to see Ms. Destine," he said to the security guard at the desk.

"I'm sorry," the guard said. "But she gave us orders not to be disturbed…"

Matt quickly pulled out his badge. "Tell her it's Detective Bluestone from New York," he said. "I'm sure she'll want to talk to me."

"New York, huh?" the guard said. "You know you're out of your jurisdiction."

"Yeah, people keep on telling me that," he said. "But I still need to see her." He paused for a moment, waiting, as the guard sighed and then picked up the phone to call Ms. Destine's office. After a minute, the guard looked up at Matt and shook his head.

"She's not picking up her phone," he said.

"Call her secretary," Matt said. "Ask her if Ms. Destine has left her office."

The guard sighed, but complied with Matt's request. "This is the front desk," he said when he heard Dominique's secretary pick up the phone. "Is Ms. Destine in her office?"

"She should be," the secretary said. "I haven't seen her leave. Why?"

"There's a Detective Bluestone here to see her," he said.

"Tell her it's important," Matt quickly interjected.

"He says it's important," the guard said.

"I'll check," the secretary said. The guard paused as he heard the secretary put him on 'Hold'.

"This shouldn't take long," he said.

The secretary hesitantly knocked on the door to Dominique's office. She'd known the red-headed CEO of Nightstone Unlimited only a few days, but she already knew beforehand about Dominique Destine's fiery temper. If she said she didn't want to be disturbed, then she absolutely did not want to be disturbed! But the guard downstairs said that it was important, so she had to make a judgment call. Interrupt her and risk the possibility of being fired, or leave her alone, and definitely getting fired if it turned out this really was as important as it sounded. She took a deep breath and opened the door. "Ms. Destine, there's a call for you…"

"Christ!" she heard an angry voice shout. "What does it take to kidnap someone in peace around here?"

Her eyes went wide in shook and horror as she saw a winged form in the office, standing by the window, Dominique's limp form slung across his shoulder. He snarled as he turned to look at the wide-eyed secretary and dropped the briefcase in his hand. She saw energy begin to crackle around his hand and quickly dived out of the way as a bolt of energy was released. It blasted apart the door she had been standing by, showering her with wooden splinters. She screamed in terror.

Fang paused as he looked through the ruins of the door and saw other employees running towards the office. He looked to where the secretary lay on the floor with her hands and arms covering her head, trembling in fear. "Maybe that'll teach ya not to interrupt yer boss when she's in a meetin'," he said contemptuously. He reached down and quickly retrieved the briefcase. The secretary lifted her head and watched fearfully as Fang grinned at her, then turned and flew out the window. She got to her feet shakily and went back to her desk. Remembering she still had the guard at the front desk on hold, she picked up the handset and reconnected the line.

"This is the front desk," she heard the guard say.

"She's been taken," she sobbed.

"What?" the guard said in shock.

"Something took her," she sobbed. "It came through the window and just took her."

Matt saw the look of shock on the guard's face. "What happened?" he asked urgently.

"She says that something came through the window and took off with Ms. Destine," he said.

Matt quickly took the phone from the guard. "This is Detective Bluestone," he said quickly. "Did you see what took her?"

"I think…" she started. "I think it was a…a gargoyle."

Matt's eyes went to the entrance he had come through, where he could see sunlight still streaming in through the glass doors. At least six hours until sunset, he thought. Definitely not a gargoyle, not at this time of day. It had to be Fang. "I want you to stay right where you are," he said. "Don't go anywhere. I'm going to have someone here in a little bit to get a statement from you about what you saw." He quickly handed the phone back to the guard. "I want you to call the LAPD and ask for a Detective Kate Lockley. Can you do that?"

"Yeah," the guard said. "I think she left her card here somewhere." He opened the desk drawer and pulled out Kate's card, showing it to Matt.

Matt looked at the card briefly, remembering that Kate had told him she was here earlier in response to Fang's first attack. He handed the card back to the guard. "Good," he said. "Tell her exactly what's happened here," he continued. He turned and started towards the entrance. He paused and turned back to the guard. "Which side of the building is Ms. Destine office on?" he asked.

The guard pointed towards the left end of the lobby. "That side," he said. "On the top floor of the building."

Matt took off across the lobby. The West side of the building, he realized. Makes perfect sense. Her office in New York is on the same side, so she can watch the sun set. Matt ran out of the lobby doors and quickly looked up. He pulled his gun as he saw a shadowy figure pass overhead. He tried to get a clear shot at Fang, but the Mutate was too high in the air.

"Dammit!" he swore as Fang quickly flew out of range. He raced for his car, trying to keep an eye on Fang's position, but as he pulled the door open, a squad car pulled in front of his car and a uniformed officer jumped out.

"Hands where I can see them," the officer commanded, his hand going automatically to his sidearm.

"I'm a cop," Matt shouted. He pulled out his badge and quickly showed it to the officer. The officer gave it a critical look before turning his attention back to Matt.

"Then why were you waving your gun around just now, detective?" he asked.

"I saw something come out of the top floor of the building, carrying off someone," he said. "It looked like some kind of gargoyle," he then added.

"We don't have gargoyles out here in LA," the officer said.

"You'd be surprised what you do and don't have," Matt said. The officer looked at him like he was crazy, so Matt tried another approach. "I'm here because a friend asked me for some help. Her name is Kate Lockley. She's a detective with the LAPD."

The officer's expression changed. Now he looked as though he were buying Matt's story. Matt quickly looked into the air, only to swear again as he saw that Fang was nowhere in sight. "Great, now I lost him." He brought his hand down on the roof of the car in frustration.

"I'm sorry, detective," the officer said. "When I saw you pulling your gun…"

"I know," Matt said. "Just doing your job." He got in the car and waited until the officer pulled his unit out of the way before giving chase, hoping he could spot Fang again. As he drove, he pulled out his cell phone and placed a call.

"Angel, this is Matt," he said. "Things just got worse."

Thailog's hidden lair

Downtown Los Angeles

Dominique groaned as she regained consciousness, her body finally ridding itself of the poisons that had been shot into it. As she became dimly aware of her surroundings, she realized that her hands were shackled to the wall above her head, and her jacket and blouse had been removed.

"Ah," she heard an all-too familiar voice say. "Welcome back to the world of the living."

"Anton," she snarled, her eyes taking on a blood-red tint as she caught sight of Anton Sevarius. "When I get through with you, there won't be enough left to fill a thimble."

"I see that your disposition remains as pleasant as ever," he said, smiling widely.

"What do you want, Anton?" she said, trying to stand. She stopped when she realized the restraints holding her wouldn't allow her to rise.

"Actually, it is you I want, my dear," he said. When he heard Dominique growl angrily, he smiled at her. "You never allowed me to study you at length, Ms. Destine. So I was never able to discover just how that wonderful recuperative power of yours worked. Or the marvelous way you are able to change form on a daily basis"

"You know precisely how and why I'm immortal, Anton," she said. "Macbeth and I are eternally linked. We suffer each others pain, but until one of us kills the other, we are fated to live throughout eternity. And as to the change, you know that was a gift from the Puck."

"I know," he said. "But I would like to know the precise mechanism that is behind it. There has to be some form of bio-chemical reaction that allows your bodies to heal with such phenomenal speed, even to the point where you can be revived when all life functions have ceased, as well as the ability of your own body to undergo such a radical change in structure."

"I see what you're after now," she said. "You want the secret so you can become immortal yourself."

"That would be my ultimate goal, yes," he said. "But I would, of course, want to test it out on Thailog first. You did do quite a bit of damage to him, after all."

"Not nearly enough, it seems," Dominique snarled. "He's still breathing."

"Be that as it may," he said. "I am certain he would very much enjoy being restored to his former grandeur, and not have to worry about every little cut and scrape from now on. And just think of what he could accomplish if he were able to walk about during the day, just as you do. Why, he could even regain control of Nightstone Unlimited, if that is what he wished."

"I'd never let him regain control of my company," she snarled viciously. "I was a fool to trust him in the first place!"

Sevarius smiled at her. "Ah, yes," he said. "I remember when you and he were very much in love. It seems like such a shame that the two of you couldn't work out your differences."

"He tried to murder my daughter!" she snapped. "What other reason do I need to rip out his throat!"

"Well, that is between the two of you," he said. He stepped forward and stuck her arm with a hypodermic needle, drawing a sample of her blood. "I hope you don't mind if I borrow this," he said. "I need it for an experiment."

"Ha," she barked. "The last time you took a sample of my blood, it ended up being…" She stopped when she realized what he was up to. "You are not going to make another copy…" she said angrily.

"Thailog has been quite the lonely fellow since your falling out," Sevarius said. "And he really does need someone he can call his own." He set the needle aside and picked up a pneumatic needle gun and placed it against her throat. Dominique flinched as she felt the needle penetrate her skin, and she could feel something being injected into her body.

"What did you just do?" she demanded.

"Just a little toy I cooked up recently," he said as he withdrew the needle gun. "Something one might call a nano-probe." He then pulled a small monitoring device out of his pocket and held it to her neck, then moved it over her body. "Ah," he said. "Operating perfectly. The signal is coming in loud and clear" He then looked at Dominique. "For a few days at least, my little friend will circulate through your body, taking reading, observing certain 'events' your body experiences during your daily changes. Those kind of things. It will give me an idea of exactly how your body functions during your transformations." He turned and started for the door, pausing to pick up the sample of Dominique's blood. "Of course, once its job is done, the probe will shut down and drift through your bloodstream. Obviously, this may cause a bit of a problem if it should happen to lodge in a sensitive area of the body." He then smiled at her. "But somehow I don't think that's something you're going to have to worry about."

Dominique struggled against the restraints holding her as she watched Sevarius leave the room with the sample of her blood. She stopped when she began to feel an all-too familiar itching along her back. Her eyes narrowed as she waited for the change to occur.

"Just you wait, Sevarius," she snarled. "As soon as I'm free…"

Her words were cut off as she heard a hissing sound. She looked around and then gasped as she saw a green mist begin to fill the room. She began to cough harshly as the vapors filled her lungs and she lost consciousness just as her body began its change.

Sevarius went to the lab where the cloning chambers were lined up against the wall and sat down at the workstation. He turned on his computer station and watched as the nano-probe sent back telemetry about the transformation that was taking place in the other room. He smiled as he saw the results. Very interesting, he thought as he turned his attention to the sample of Dominique's blood. He drew a small sample of blood from the needle and placed it in a special container. Taking the sample of Lilah's blood, he placed it under a microscope and began the meticulous work of replicating the process he used to create Delilah.

"Do you need anything else, doc?" Fang asked.

"Not at the moment, no," Sevarius said.

Fang watched as Sevarius worked. "Hey, doc," he said.

Sevarius sighed. "What is it, Fang?" he asked.

"Since you're making a playmate for Thailog," he said. "You think you could make one for me, too?"

Sevarius thought about that for a moment. "Are you certain you want to wait that long?" he asked. "It may take a few months before the clone reaches maturity."

"You can't do anything to speed that up to say, a few days?"

"Not likely," Sevarius said. "Wouldn't you rather have another like you?" he asked. "If you're in such a hurry for a playmate, you could find a suitable subject and I can expose her to the mutagen. If you'd like, I can even perform a little 'reeducation' at the same time."

Fang smiled. "Sounds like a great plan, doc," he said. "I'll go find someone as soon as I take care of a little business with the boss." He picked up the briefcase and left the lab.

Sevarius sighed as soon as the Mutate left, then turned back to his work, hoping he wouldn't be interrupted again.

Fang was on his way to Thailog's office when he bumped into a rather attractive brunette. "Well, hello Nurse!" he said, grinning wildly.

"I'm not a nurse," she said, seemingly unfazed by the Mutate's unusual appearance. "I'm a lawyer."

Fang frowned. "Ugh," he said. "Can't stand 'em. Always wantin' something in return for defending a guy. Money, cars…"

"The still beating heart of a virgin," Lilah said with a smile.

That caught Fang by surprise. "Uh…" he stammered.

Lilah grinned. "I take it you're Steven Fisher," she said.

"I don't go by that name anymore," he said. "It's Fang now."

"Of course," she said. "I'm Lilah Morgan."

"Yeah," Fang said. "The doc told me about you." He looked her up and down. "He didn't tell me you were a looker, though."

"Thank you," she said. She looked down at the briefcase in his hand. "What's that?" she asked.

"Really don't know," Fang said. "I saw Red put something in it right after she gave some poor schmuck the ax, but I ain't had the chance to see what it was. But I figured it'd be something the boss would want to see."

"Do you mind if I take it to him?" she asked, smiling disarmingly. "I haven't had the chance to meet Mr. Thailog yet, but as his attorney, I am required to fill him in on all developments concerning his former status as the part owner of Nightstone."

"Uh, yeah," Fang said, a little confused by Lilah's words. "Right. Sure." He handed over the briefcase. "Besides, I got something I gotta do. I'll see ya later."

Lilah waited until the Mutate was gone before opening the briefcase and looking at the file inside. Oh, yes, she thought. I'm certain Mr. Thailog will be most interested in this. He'll probably have a nice reward for the one who brings it to his attention. She looked back to where Fang had been standing. I just hope Mr. Fisher doesn't hold a grudge if I take the credit for it. Smiling as she put the report back into the briefcase, she headed down the hallway.

Eventually, she reached the door to Thailog's office. She paused for a second before knocking on the door.

"Who is it?" she heard a deep baritone voice ask.

"Mr. Thailog," she said. "It's me. Lilah Morgan."

There was a moment of silence. "You may enter," she heard him say finally.

She opened the door and entered the office.

The first thing she noticed was that the lights were turned off. She reached for the light switch.

"Don't," she heard the baritone voice say. "I would prefer that the lights remain off."

"But I can't see…" she started.

"I prefer it that way," Thailog said.

Lilah sighed and crossed the room cautiously, feeling her way carefully. When her hands encountered the desk, she stopped and placed the briefcase on the desk. "I just thought you'd like to see this," she said as she opened the briefcase. She took out the report and placed it on the desk. She heard Thailog pick up the report and begin reading it. That's right, she thought. His kind is supposed to have exceptional night vision. After a few moments, she saw a shadowy arm reach for a desk lamp and turn it on. She found herself looking at the scarred visage of Alexander Thailog.

"My appearance doesn't surprise you?" he asked, seeing that she remained well composed, even though she had stepped back slightly.

"I've seen worse things," she said. "Have you ever met a Mulonach demon?" she asked.

"Can't say that I have," Thailog said.

"Very bad skin conditions," she said. "They look like they should be spokesmen for Clearasil." She paused. "And their table manners…" She shuddered.

"Disgusting?" Thailog asked.

"No table manners to speak of at all," Lilah said. "They would give Miss Manners nightmares."

Thailog smiled at the lawyer. "I can see that Holland was right in assigning you to my case," he said. He went over the report again. "You were right to bring this to my attention." Without looking up, he added. "And just where did Fang acquire this?"

Lilah was somewhat shocked by his question. "What makes you think…" she started.

"My dear, very few things happen in this building that escapes my notice." He reached forward and placed his scarred hand on the briefcase. "And I just 'happened' to notice the initials on the top of this briefcase."

Lilah looked at the initials embossed in the leather. DD, she noted. Dominique Destine.

"I am therefore assuming that Fang 'acquired' this report and the briefcase when he abducted my former partner, Dominique Destine, earlier today."

"You know about that?" she asked.

"As I said, very few things escape my notice," Thailog said. "I will, of course, inform Holland that you brought this report to my attention. It will prove most invaluable in the future. Now, if you will excuse me," he continued. "I need to go over this in more detail. And I have a few things to discuss with the good doctor."

"Of course," Lilah said. "I'm always at your service."

Thailog waited until Lilah left the office before turning his attention back to the report. I had hoped she would not find out about this project until it was too late, he thought. But all is not lost. Once I have regained control of Nightstone, I can resume my plans, and my dear father's clan will be none the wiser until it is too late.

Angel Investigations

"Are you sure it was Fang?" Angel asked.

"I've seen Fang enough times to know what he looks like," Matt said. "Believe me, it was him."

"And you're certain it was Dominique Destine he was carrying," Wesley asked. "No one else?"

"Who else could it have been?" Matt said. "The cleaning lady? I don't think so."

"Matt's right," Angel said. "Fang's already made one attempt to grab her. Now he's succeeded. And we're no closer to finding out where he could have taken her." He looked at Cordelia. "You're certain you didn't have a vision when she was abducted?"

"Gee, let me think," she said. "Did I have any mind-numbing visions today?" She paused, pretending to think about it. "Nope, not a one."

"What do you mean 'visions'," Matt asked.

"Cordelia gets these flashes," Wesley said. "Usually when someone's life is in danger."

"Usually the 'life-ending' kind of danger," she added.

"That is how we operate," Wesley continued. "We search out the people in Cordelia's visions and try to help them."

"Doesn't anyone just come in through the front door?" Matt asked.

"Oh, yeah," Cordelia said. "Lots of times. And sometimes the people who do come in tend to be some psychopath from Angel's past who…"

"Cordelia…" Angel started.

"I'm just saying…" Cordelia said as she began to sit down at her desk. Then she grabbed the edge of the desk. "Oh, God!" she gasped.

Wesley and Angel quickly rushed to her aid as she began to collapse, the vision taking hold of her suddenly without warning.

"Oh, God!" she repeated. "Kate!"

"What?" Matt asked. "Where? What's happening?"

"Magic store," Cordelia said. "Just up the street. She's…" Cordelia stopped as she sagged in Angel's grip.

Matt looked at Angel. "What about a magic store?" he asked. "And what would Kate be doing…"

"Whatever it is," Angel said as he handed Cordelia off to Wesley. "She's in trouble." He grabbed his coat and headed for the door. "Come on," he said. "I know the one she's talking about."

Matt followed the vampire out the door and headed down the street in his car, hoping to get to Kate in time, but fearing that they were already too late.

Kate Lockley stepped out of the magic store, seething with rage. Boy, did she play me for the fool! she thought angrily. I should have known better than to trust anyone who was associated with Angel to tell me the truth about themselves. She'd come to the magic store to do a little additional research on gargoyles. And while there had been scant little, if anything, on any gargoyles named Dominique Destine, there was plenty about one named Demona, and Kate wasn't too happy with what she read. Gargoyles protect, all right, she thought grimly. They protect their own hides. And usually at the expense of others. Well, Ms. Destine, the next time I see you…

"Hey," she heard a voice from above. She looked up and saw a dark shape swooping down towards her. "Just the person I wanted to see."

She dropped the books she was carrying as she made a grab for her gun, but then she saw a bright flash of light, and then her world went dark.

Fang scooped up the unconscious form of Kate Lockley and jumped onto the roof of her car, using it as a launching point to get himself airborne.

"There he is," Matt said as they caught sight of the winged Mutate, carrying Kate's limp form in his arms. "Oh God, we're too late."

"No, we're not," Angel said. "He's not getting away this time." He drove into an alley and stopped the car. "Keep following him," he said to Matt. "He'll probably lead us right to Demona and Thailog."

"Where are you going?" Matt asked.

Angel leapt up and grabbed the railing of a nearby fire escape. "I can follow him faster this way," he said.

Matt watched in amazement as the vampire quickly raced up the fire escape and disappeared from sight. Not wanting to lose Fang a second time, Matt quickly backed the car out of the alley and took off after him.

Angel leapt from rooftop to rooftop, always staying in sight of Fang and his captive. Fang was fast, Angel thought. But not as fast as he could be if he weren't carrying Kate. For a brief second, he wondered why Fang had abducted the detective, but then put the thought out of his mind. It doesn't matter, he thought. He's not going to have her long enough for it to make a difference. He followed Fang across town until the Mutate stopped at an apparently abandoned warehouse. Waiting until Fang disappeared inside, he made a search of the area, looking for a way in while he waited for Matt to arrive.

During his search, he discovered something rather interesting.

"Hello, Lilah," he said as he saw the Wolfram and Hart lawyer heading for her car.

"Angel!" Lilah gasped in surprise. "What…what are you doing here?"

"I might ask you the same thing," he said. "Where's Thailog?"

"I…I don't…know…" she stammered, even as she began to reach into her purse.

"Come on, Lilah," he said. "I know that he's a client of yours. His ex told me all about him."

"I wouldn't be taking Ms. Destine's word as gospel if I were you," she said. "But then, you wouldn't be into the Gospel, would you?" She quickly pulled out a cross and held it before her. Angel flinched at the sight of the holy relic. "Now I suggest you back off…"

She never got a chance to finish, because Matt came up behind her and grabbed her by the wrist, forcing her to drop the cross. "I think my friend asked you a question," he said.

"Who the hell are you?" she snapped.

"Matt Bluestone, NYPD," Matt said.

"You're out of your…" she started.

"Jurisdiction," Matt stated. "I know." He looked at Angel. "I keep getting that."

"You're just going to have to get used to it," he said, then turned his attention back to Lilah. "Like I said before, where's Thailog?"

Anton Sevarius looked over the unconscious form of the detective as she lay on the floor. "Oh, she is a fine specimen," he said. "Where did you find her?"

"I think she's a cop," Fang said. "She 'interrupted' me when I tried to grab Demona a couple of days ago."

Sevarius looked up at the Mutate with a mixture of surprise and shock on his face. "And you brought her here?"

"Listen, doc," Fang snarled. "You said you could make me a playmate of my own. All you gotta do is hit her with the goo and then wipe a few annoying brain cells, and if she's lucky, she'll be able to remember how to eat afterwards."

Sevarius paused for a moment, considering the options. It could work, he thought. An infusion of the mutagen would take care of the physical appearance, and a simple procedure is all that would be needed to wipe her memories. Retraining her afterwards would be a simple matter…

The hiss of the lab door opening drew their attention, and they both watched as Thailog entered the room.

"What is this?" he demanded.

"The doc's going to make me someone to be Mrs. Fang," Fang said.

"Are you insane?" Thailog bellowed. "Do you realize who she is?"

"Yeah, yeah," Fang said. "I know. She's a cop. So what? A few alterations and no one will be able to tell the difference."

"She is associated with a local vampire named Angel," Thailog said. "And from what I have heard from Holland, she and this vampire are quite close."

"Again, so what?" Fang said. "The doc created them. I'm sure he knows how…"

"This 'Angel' is not one of Anton's halfling creations," Thailog said. "He is a true vampire." He looked down at Kate. "And if he has a relationship with this human, no doubt he will be able to follow her here." He leaned down and turned Kate over, turning her head to inspect her neck. "No marks," he noted. "So she has not been tasted." He carefully stood up. "But we still must be ready." He turned to Anton. "Have you begun the cloning process yet?" he asked.

"Not yet," Sevarius said. "I was just getting ready to put the genetic material into the cloning chamber when Fang returned with his 'bride-to-be'."

Thailog looked down at Kate, who was already beginning to stir. "Extract a sample from her as well," he said. "Then put her in with Demona. We will flood the room with cyanide gas and kill them both after we leave."

"Hey!" Fang cried out in protest.

"You do realize that Demona will no doubt survive," Sevarius said.

"Yes," Thailog said. "But she will also get the blame for the death of this human. Just one more death on her hands." Thailog turned and started for the door as Fang frowned while he held Kate still long enough for Sevarius to draw the blood sample.

"Hey!" he called out. "What about me? Don't I get a say in this matter?"

"No," Thailog said. "You have been nothing but trouble ever since I contacted you. I should have known better than to trust a two-bit loser such as yourself." He opened the door and started to leave. "The fact that you are still alive should be compensation enough for your troubles."

"My troubles?" Fang said in disbelief. "Listen here, pal! You wouldn't be where you are now if it weren't for me. I'm the one who got your worthless carcass out of New York after your last run-in with Demona!"

"And I should be grateful for that?" Thailog bellowed. "I could have easily left the state if I chose to. I did not need your assistance."

"Boys, boys," Sevarius said, trying to defuse the situation. "We have a guest. If we are going to have a family squabble, then perhaps we should arrange to have it elsewhere."

Thailog glared at Sevarius, but he knew he was right. "You are correct," he said. "Now is not the time for this." He turned his attention to Kate. "Put her in with Demona, and we'll 'discuss' her fate later. After we have moved to a 'safer' location'."

Fang growled at Thailog, already knowing what the clone had in mind for Kate, but he complied anyway. He took her to the room where Demona was still shackled to the wall, unconscious, and shoved the detective into the room. Kate saw him hesitate for a moment before he finally closed the door.

A light moaning drew her attention to the other occupant of the room. She carefully approached the azure gargoyle and looked down at her. The suit she had been wearing was tattered, and Kate got the impression that it wasn't supposed to be part of the illusion Demona had told her about. Another lie, she thought bitterly. She looked back at the door.

"I doubt very much if they're going to let you go if you start pounding on that door," she heard a voice say. She turned and saw Demona looking at her.

"I'd rather try my luck that way than be stuck in here with a killer," she said viciously.

"I am not…" Demona started defensively.

"Oh, I know," Kate said, sweeping her hands dramatically. "The great and powerful Demona wouldn't hurt a fly." She turned her attention back to the trapped gargess. "Or would she?"

Demona was silent for a few minutes. "How did you find out my name?" she asked.

"I have a friend in the NYPD," she said. "He's the head of the Gargoyle Task Force. I think you know him."

"Matt Bluestone," Demona sighed heavily. "He told you who I was."

"Not right away," Kate said. "For some reason, he tried to avoid telling me what you'd done. But I eventually found out all there was to know about you, Demona." She stalked over to the gargess. "I know who and what you are, and I'm going to see to it that you pay for what you've done."

"What I've done?" Demona said angrily. "What about what you and your race has done to me and my kind? Yes, I've taken human lives before, but they were always in defense of my own race, a race you humans have been trying to wipe out for over a thousand years!"

"And you think your race is better than ours?" Kate said angrily. "Does that justify what you've done?"

"I used to believe that gargoyles were better than humans, yes," Demona spat. "At least, my kind does not actively seek out to destroy other races simply because they exist. Can you say the same thing, detective?"

Kate opened her mouth the respond, but then Demona cut her off. "Remember, I have been alive for over a thousand years. I've witnessed countless atrocities throughout the centuries. The Inquisition, the witch hunts. I witnessed the Holocaust firsthand. I know how 'humane' humanity truly is."

Kate was taken aback by Demona's words, not because they shocked her, but because she knew that Demona was right. "That still doesn't change what you've done in the past," she said. "You still have a lot to answer for."

"Perhaps," she said. "But I have little faith in the human justice system."

"The system works," Kate said.

"Does it?" Demona asked. "Would I be here, shackled to the wall, if a known felon like Steven Fisher hadn't been allowed to slip through the cracks? Would there be lawyers like Lilah Morgan and Holland Manners, who would gladly sell their souls to the devil, and probably already have, if there were any truth to your much vaunted sense of justice?"

"The system does work," Kate said.

"For you perhaps," Demona said. "But not for me. I prefer my own sense of justice." She gritted her teeth and strained her arms, trying to break free. She managed to pull the shackles from the wall, but it still left her arms trapped. It's a start, she thought.

"Your brand of justice sounds like vigilantism to me," Kate said. "You know that I can't allow that."

"No?" Demona asked. "My brand of justice a hundred years ago turned a cruel and vicious killer into a force of good in this world. I believe you call him Angel."

Kate blinked. "What did you do to him?" she asked.

Demona finally got the bar holding her wrists loose enough to free herself. "I restored his soul," she said.

Kate watched wordlessly as Demona made for the door and began digging her talons into the metal. After a few seconds, she heard a hissing sound.

"Thailog, you bastard!" she called out. "You won't get rid of me that easily." She dug her talons deeper into the door and finally managed to tear it loose. She tossed it aside and pulled Kate out of the room.

"They've escaped!" Thailog bellowed as the alarm sounded.

"Then I suggest we get moving right now, my boy," Sevarius said. "Knowing Demona, she's going to want a piece of you before she leaves."

Thailog looked at the cloning chambers, where two clones were in the first stages of development. "Can they be moved?" he asked. He wouldn't leave them behind, not unless he was forced to.

"No," Sevarius said. "I'm sorry, my boy. Time to say good-bye." He went to the workstation and began downloading the information he had gathered on Demona's transformation onto a CD-R disc. "But have no fear," he continued. "We have plenty of raw DNA for another go at a new location. And all the information we need to continue our plans."

"That's going to be a problem," they heard another voice say. They turned and saw a dark-haired stranger standing by the door. Thailog growled as he saw Matt Bluestone by his side.

"What's up, doc?" Angel said.

Demona and Kate raced down the corridor, trying to outrun the gas that was still seeping from the room they had been in. They turned a corner and stopped.

"Fang!" Demona growled.

"Listen, Red," he said. "I don't want any trouble. I just want to get out of here with my fur intact."

Demona grabbed him by the throat. "After what you did to me?" she snarled. "I think not."

"Hey, Demona," Fang struggled. "Your beef is with Thailog, not me. He's the one who had me grab you. If it were up to me, I'd have left you alone. Besides, I'm not the one who tried to kill your daughter."

Demona frowned at the Mutate, and then shoved him aside. "As spineless as ever," she snarled. "Pray that we never cross paths again, Fang. Because next time, I shall turn you into a rug."

Fang sagged to the floor of the corridor. "I…I can live with that." He watched as the two raced up the corridor, then turned to head in the opposite direction. That's when he saw the gas.

He quickly turned and took off after Demona and Kate.

"Hey," he called out. "You weren't going to leave me there to get poisoned, were you?"

Matt held his gun on Sevarius while Angel and Thailog circled each other, sizing each other up.

"So you are the 'Angel' Wolfram and Hart is worried about," Thailog said in disdain. "I am disappointed."

"Don't be," Angel said. "I've tangled with the best. You know Demona, right? I took a bite out of her a hundred years ago, and I'm still around to talk about it." He looked at Thailog's battered frame. "But you," he said. "One fight with Demona, and you can hardly walk."

"A temporary condition," Thailog said. "But one that will be remedied in time."

"From the sound of that alarm," Angel said. "You might not have much time left."

"Too true," he said. Suddenly, a wrist blaster extended from the gauntlet on his right forearm. A laser lanced out and caught Angel square in the chest, knocking him backwards. "I always knew those plans would come in handy."

"Angel!" Matt cried out as he watched the vampire fall to the floor, a scorch mark on his chest. Forgetting Sevarius, he rushed to the vampire's aid. Sevarius quickly pulled a blaster from underneath the workstation and leveled it at the detective.

"Time to go, my boy," he said as he ejected a CD-ROM disc from the computer drive.

"I agree," Thailog said. Keeping their weapons trained on the two, they headed for the door.

Demona and Kate raced into the lab just in time to see the door close, sealing them in.

"Damn him!" Demona cursed, pounding on the door. "Tell me Thailog did not just get away through that door, Bluestone."

"Sorry," Matt said.

"And you did nothing to stop him," Demona snarled.

"They kinda had us at a disadvantage," Angel groaned. "They had blasters."

"Perfect," Demona snarled. She turned her attention to the cloning chambers. "Well, this is one thing Thailog won't be benefiting from." She took Bluestone's revolver and put a round into the base of each chamber, ending the cloning cycle. She then handed the revolver back to Matt.

"You just destroyed evidence," Kate said.

"No," she said. "I just destroyed something that should never have been allowed to exist in the first place. I already have one hybrid clone of myself to contend with. I don't need two more."

Kate frowned at the azure gargess, but before she was able to say anything, they heard a panting sound, and turned as Fang came rushing into the room. "We got problems," he said.

Matt leveled his revolver at the Mutate. "Well, well," he said. "Can't say I'm disappointed to see you, Fang?"

Fang frowned at Matt. "Listen, flatfoot," he said. "We ain't got time for this." He pointed back the way he and the two women had come. "There's a cloud of poison gas coming up that hallway, and unless you enjoy sucking that stuff into your lungs, we gotta get our butts outta here like now!"

"That's going to be a problem," Demona said. She dug her talons into the door. "This door is very thick. It's going to take me a while to get through it."

"Step aside, Red," Fang said. "I'll blast it open." Demona turned to look at the Mutate, then quickly stepped aside as she saw blue balls of energy forming around his hands. Then everyone shielded their eyes when he unleashed the energy against the door. The door remained intact.

"Come on!" Fang bellowed as he slammed his fists against the door. "Open up!"

Matt quickly went to the other door and closed it. "That should buys us a few seconds," he said.

Demona went back to the door and dug her talons into it. She pulled on the door, and then pushed against it. She felt it shift. Smiling, she gave the door a sideways pull. It opened halfway with a groan, but then stopped.

"All right," Fang said. "So I loosened it for you." Without waiting, he shoved Demona out of the way and bolted through the door.

"He's certainly no gentleman," Kate said.

"About what one would expect from someone like him," Demona said. She waited until the others had raced through the door before quickly searching the lab. Finding what she needed, she smashed open the glass tubes of the cloning chambers, and then set fire to the lab.

Three hours later…

Angel Investigations

"So, there was no sign of them?" Cordelia asked.

"None," Demona said. "Thailog and Sevarius made a clean getaway, and we lost track of Fang in the fire. There's no way of knowing if he even made it out of the building." She paused. "Good riddance, I say."

"Demona…" Angel said, wincing slightly as Cordelia did her best to bandage the laser burn on his chest.

"That bastard killed me, Angel," she snarled. "Twice. If I never see him again, I'll consider it a small favor. And if he got trapped in the fire, so much the better." He looked at Matt. "Wouldn't you agree, detective?"

"I'm not so sure I'd agree with you on that," he said. When Demona scowled at him, he continued. "I'm an officer of the law," he said. "I have a responsibility to uphold that law. It's not my job, or yours, to try and convict someone because of my personal feeling about them. Fang deserve his day in court, same as you."

"And would you be able to hold him?" she snapped. "Even your partner's little brother tried that, and he still got away." She sighed. "It doesn't matter now anyway," she said. "This unpleasantness is over and done with, and I for one intend to put it as far behind me as I can." She headed for the door.

"And just where do you think your going?" Kate challenged.

"I still have 'unfinished business' to take care of," she said. "I still have whatever havoc Thailog did to my company to clear up here, and I also have a certain lawyer to take care of." She looked at Angel. "I want to thank you for your assistance, Angel. But I think I can take care of things from this point on."

"Demona," Wesley said. "You can't just walk into the offices of Wolfram and Hart and assault on of their lawyers."

"Who said I was going to walk in?" she said. Before anyone could protest, she was already out the door.

Wolfram and Hart

Holland Manner's office

"I don't know what to say, sir," Lilah said. "If I had known Angel was going to…"

"That's all right, Lilah," Holland said. "I doubt this is your fault. It was obviously Fang's fault. I should have advised Thailog not to go after Ms. Destine directly. If I knew he had an interest in trying to secure a mate, I could have arranged for a suitable one to be taken from one of the other clans. There is one in a country to the south of us. Guatemala, I believe."

"Maybe," she said.

"Were you able to secure the files we discussed?" he asked.

Lilah held up the briefcase. "They're in here, sir," she said with a smile.

"Ah, good," he said. "You showed great initiative in going back in once you escaped from Angel."

"I knew that you'd want these files," she said, setting the briefcase on Holland's desk. "If Ms. Destine knew we had these…"

Her words were stopped as Holland's window shattered. Lilah and Holland both dived out of the way of flying glass, and when they got back up, they were confronted by a very angry azure-blue gargess.

"Hello, Holland," Demona snarled.

"Ms….Destine," he said, trying to regain his composure. "I didn't expect to see…"

"I'm sure you didn't," she said. "You were probably hoping that both Thailog and Sevarius would keep me locked away somewhere long enough for you to get your hooks back into Nightstone." She saw the briefcase on Holland's desk. "I'll take this if you don't mind."

"That is…" Lilah started.

Demona quickly turned the briefcase around. "My property, if I'm not mistaken," she said, showing the lawyers the initials embossed in the leather. She opened the briefcase and took out the files. "As are these." She put the files back in the briefcase and closed it. "Whatever plans you had for my company, you can just forget it. I am severing my company's ties to you as of this moment."

"Are you certain you want to do that, Ms. Destine?" Holland said. "After all…"

Demona stepped forward and grabbed Holland by the throat. "Don't force me to kill you, Holland," she snarled. "You were invaluable to me in the past, and for that I am grateful, but you don't want to piss me off by making threats against me and mine. The last one who did that is still suffering for it. Or haven't you heard what I did to Alexander?"

Lilah blanched slightly, remembering the scars that covered Thailog's body.

Demona released her grip on Holland's throat. "If I were you, Holland, you will tell the senior partners that I am not to be contacted by you or any of the lawyers in your firm ever again. And I would greatly recommend, Ms. Morgan," she added to Lilah. "That you seriously consider a career change. The senior partners will not be too forgiving for this fiasco, and I am certain that you and Holland will be at the top of their list."

Lilah gulped as Demona shoved Holland away from her and headed for the shattered window. She looked back as the door opened and several armed guards rushed into the office. She took off into the night as they raced to the window.

"Let her go," Lilah quickly said. The guards looked at her as she helped Holland to his feet.

"Sir?" one of the guards asked.

"She's right," Holland said. "Unless you would like to try to follow her."

The guard looked out the window, seeing the long drop to the pavement, and then looked up at the dwindling silhouette of the gargoyle heading across the sky. "No, sir," he said. He motioned to the other guards and they left the office.

"So, what do we do now?" Lilah asked.

"Demona said that we were on the top of the list," Holland said. "I think we can find someone who would be willing to take our place on that list." He went to his desk and righted the chair, taking a moment to sweep the broken glass away. "Wouldn't you agree?"

"I think I can find someone," Lilah said.

July 7, 2000

A passenger jet on approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

Dominique Destine sat back as she felt the jet begin its descent. She hadn't minded the stopover in Denver so much as she hated the fact that her own corporate jet would be down for repairs for a few days longer. It couldn't be helped, she thought. I had to resolve the situation in Los Angeles. She had spent the last two weeks after what happened cleaning up the mess Thailog had left behind. He had managed to divert funds from several accounts he had still managed to hide from her, and she had to track down those accounts and close them off completely. There was that mess, and what Sevarius had done to her to deal with.

She decided to wait until she was certain that the nano-probe Sevarius had injected into her was purged from her body. The last thing she wanted was for the device to become lodged in a heart valve and cause a heart attack at the worst possible moment. And she wanted to make certain Sevarius hadn't left any other nasty surprises for her.

What made the two weeks even more unbearable was the almost constant harassment she had to suffer at the hands of Detective Lockley. The detective made it clear that she wanted Demona out of Los Angeles, and she wasn't about to let up until she was certain that the immortal gargess was on her way back to Manhattan. Let the cops who know how to deal with her have her, she no doubt thought. Well, I hope she's happy now that I'm gone.

She looked up as the 'Fasten Seatbelt' sign came on, then got out of her seat to retrieve her laptop computer from the overhead compartment. As soon as she had it in hand, she sat down and opened it.

"Excuse me?" the stewardess said as she stopped by her seat.

Dominique looked up. "Yes?" she said.

"You're going to have to put that away," the stewardess said. "We'll be landing in a few minutes."

"I just need a few minutes to get something taken care of," she said. "Then I'll put it away."

The stewardess frowned at her, but didn't press the issue. She turned to head down the aisle.

She must have a pretty good salary, Dominique thought. Didn't want to risk losing her job by arguing with a first-class passenger. She did what she needed to do. I hope Ms. Chase appreciates the gift, she thought, then closed the laptop and put it away. Now all I need to do is...

She turned in her seat just then, looking towards the back of the first-class section, as the sense of something powerful touched her mind. She started to get out of her seat.

"Excuse me, miss," the stewardess said, seeing her. "You'll have to sit down and buckle your seatbelt. We're about to land."

Dominique frowned at her, but sat back down. As the stewardess made her way towards the back of the plane, Dominique turned in her seat again, trying to figure out what it was she had sensed. Such a feeling of raw power, she thought. Was there another sorcerer on board? She closed her eyes and concentrated, trying to pick up on whatever it was she had felt. Nothing. She opened her eyes. Probably nothing. She turned around in her seat and waited as the plane started its final approach towards the airport.

And in the Coach section of the plane, Willow Rosenburg closed the book she hoped would cure her friend Oz.

"Don't worry, Willow," her friend Buffy Summers said. "We won't fail."

"I hope not," Willow said. She sighed and sat back as the plane started its descent.

The End